COVID-19 Lockdown Effects on Acute Stroke Care in Latin America

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Pujol-Lereis, Virginia A.
Flores, Alan
Barboza, Miguel A.
Abanto-Argomedo, Carlos
Amaya, Pablo
Bayona, Hernán
Bonardo, Pablo
Díaz-Escobar, Luis
Gómez-Schneider, Maia
Góngora-Rivera, Fernando
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Objectives: COVID-19 pandemic has forced important changes in health care worldwide. Stroke care networks have been affected, especially during peak periods. We assessed the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns in stroke admissions and care in Latin America. Materials and Methods: A multinational study (7 countries, 18 centers) of patients admitted during the pandemic outbreak (March-June 2020). Comparisons were made with the same period in 2019. Numbers of cases, stroke etiology and severity, acute care and hospitalization outcomes were assessed. Results: Most countries reported mild decreases in stroke admissions compared to the same period of 2019 (1187 vs. 1166, p = 0.03). Among stroke subtypes, there was a reduction in ischemic strokes (IS) admissions (78.3% vs. 73.9%, p = 0.01) compared with 2019, especially in IS with NIHSS 0 5 (50.1% vs. 44.9%, p = 0.03). A substantial increase in the proportion of stroke admissions beyond 48 h from symptoms onset was observed (13.8% vs. 20.5%, p < 0.001). Nevertheless, no differences in total reperfusion treatment rates were observed, with similar door-to-needle, door-toCT, and door-to-groin times in both periods. Other stroke outcomes, as all-type mortality during hospitalization (4.9% vs. 9.7%, p < 0.001), length of stay (IQR 1 5 days vs. 0 9 days, p < 0.001), and likelihood to be discharged home (91.6% vs. 83.0%, p < 0.001), were compromised during COVID-19 lockdown period. Conclusions: In this Latin America survey, there was a mild decrease in admissions of IS during the COVID-19 lockdown period, with a significant delay in time to consultations and worse hospitalization outcomes.
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Latin America , Developing countries , Stroke , Acute stroke therapy , COVID-19 , Lockdown
Pujol-Lereis VA, Flores A, Barboza MA, Abanto-Argomedo C, Amaya P, Bayona H, Bonardo P, Diaz-Escobar L, Gomez-Schneider M, Góngora-Rivera F, Lavados PM, Leon C, Luraschi A, Marquez-Romero JM, Ouriques-Martins SC, Navia VH, Ruiz-Franco A, Vences MÁ, Zurrú MC, Arauz A, Ameriso SF; Latin American Stroke rEgistry (LASE) COVID-19 Collaborators.. COVID-19 Lockdown Effects on Acute Stroke Care in Latin America. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Sep;30(9):105985.