Safety measures and clinical outcome of Nuclear Cardiology Department during Covid-19 lockdown pandemic: Northern Italy experience
Journal of Nuclear Cardiology
The Covid-19 pandemic led to a complete renewal of clinical activities of Italian hospitals. During the lockdown, all hospitals in Italy had to suspend non-urgent clinical activities. The prolonged suspension of elective activities could have caused a series of problems. A new ad hoc protocol was designed. Single-day fast-imaging protocol with regadenoson-stress 99mTc-tetrofosmin imaging was preferred. Patients were contacted by phone 4 days before the test and answered to a questionnaire which
... will be repeated on the day of the exam. Body temperature <37.5 degrees C and no Covid-19 symptoms were necessary to enter the unit. Patients wore surgical mask and gloves. Social distancing was maintained throughout the examination. Healthcare professionals wore a personal protective equipment. A total of 46 patients were studied from April 7 to May 15, 2020, before the publication of the recommendations from ASNC and SNMMI. None of the patients experienced complications. Follow-up of patients discharged was carried by phone. No Covid-19 infection symptoms were reported. On May 18, 2020 all the healthcare providers of nuclear cardiology department underwent serological testing IgG and IgM and none were positive. Strict ad hoc hygiene protocol for Covid-19 pandemic avoids diagnostic-therapeutic delay and lengthening of waiting lists. Our experience confirms that pursuing WHO recommendations and recent indication of ASNC and SNMMI is safe for both health providers and patients. Moreover, the incidence of significant inducible ischemia rises when correct stratification of patients is performed.