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Cardiovascular Implications of the Covid 19 Virus Challenge Healthcare Professionals & Patients

Dec 18, 2020 07:00AM ● By Med Magazine

By John Harper M.B.A., CPHQ

South Dakota Cardiovascular Collaborative Contributor 

As the Covid 19 pandemic continues to challenge frontline healthcare professionals, it also poses complications for those in the cardiology patient community. Early studies from Wuhan China show that Covid 19 patients who had previous cardiac injury were at a significantly greater risk of hospital mortality versus those without a preexisting cardiac injury. Another early study found that up to 1 in 5 Covid 19 patients developed significant heart damage, resulting in heart failure or death.

These are the most severe examples of cardiac complications related to the Covid 19 virus, but there are diagnostic challenges that also pose a threat for patients and providers as well. A recent study of patients admitted to the Emergency Room with heart attack symptoms, including ST-Segment elevations, showed no blockages upon examination in the catheterization laboratory. Another cardiac phenomenon of the virus is the number of middle age patients who have no or a low risk of stroke developing spontaneous blood clots as a result of a Covid 19 illness and suffering a stroke.

While there are treatments and novel therapies for those that develop Covid 19 symptoms and illness, care should be taken in those with cardiovascular disease, specifically with the novel hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin therapy. The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association advise caution when using this treatment regimen in those with cardiac risk factors, due to the potential heart rhythm abnormalities.

This pandemic demonstrates that everyone should take the basic precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and there is no time like the present to put our health first. Those with cardiac and chronic health issues need to be especially aware and engaged in managing their health. A healthy heart is a gift and the core to good health. This being the season for gifts, the best gift you can give or receive is good health!

Source: Shaobo S, et al., “Association of Cardiac Injury With Mortality in Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, “JAMA Cardiology, March 25, 2020; Bangalore S, et al., “ST-Segment Elevation in Patients with Covid-19,” NEJM, April 17, 2020;Hawryluk M, KHN, “Mysterious Heart Damage, Not Just Lung Troubles, Befalling COVID-19 Patients,” April 6, 2020; Roden DM, et al., “Considerations for Drug Interactions on QTc in Exploratory COVID-19 Treatment,” Circulation, April 8, 2020; “Covid-19 patients in their 30s and 40s are dying suddenly from strokes,” The Daily Briefing, April 28, 2020,