Emergency transfers for heart issues have dropped since pandemic, Cleveland Clinic says

Emergency transfers to the Cleveland Clinic for patients having critical cardiovascular events have dropped 39 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

Cleveland Clinic researchers conducted the study to measure the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency transfers for heart attacks, strokes and acute aortic emergencies. Study results were published in the journal Circulation.

The Cleveland Clinic has a long-established process allowing clinicians to immediately emergency transfer patients needing critical care for certain cardiovascular events. The process bypasses the need for an accepting provider or available bed. For the study, researchers analyzed daily emergency transfers from Jan. 1, 2019 to March 8, 2020, and compared it to daily emergency transfers from March 9 to May 6, 2020.

Overall daily transfers fell by 39 percent. Further analysis showed that daily emergency transfers for:

● ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (a classic heart attack) fell by 48 percent
● Stroke dropped by 39 percent
● Aortic emergencies fell by 21 percent

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