50% of heart attack patients delayed care due-to COVID-19, study suggests

Fifty percent of heart attack patients stopped going to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic due to fears of contracting the virus, a worldwide survey by the European Society of Cardiology showed.

ESC surveyed 3,101 healthcare professionals from 141 countries in mid-April.

Hospital clinicians and nurses reported a noticeable drop in heart attack patients coming to hospitals. On average, clinicians reported a 50 percent decrease.

Of patients who did go to the hospital, 48 percent arrived past the optimal window for treatment.

Clinicians said patients who had a heart attack had a 28 percent increase in life-threatening complications during the pandemic, according to a separate survey by the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions.

ESC President Dr. Barbara Casadei was alarmed by the findings: "The risk of dying of a heart attack is much greater than that of dying of COVID-19. Moreover, cardiac death is largely preventable if patients with a heart attack come to hospital in time to get treatment. What we are witnessing is an unnecessary loss of life. Our priority must be to stop this from happening."


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