The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 infection on cardiac surgery community and practice.
A 43-question survey was sent to cardiac surgery centers worldwide. The survey analyzed the prepandemic organization of the center, the center's response to Covid-19 in terms of re-organization pathways, surveillance methods, personal-protective equipment (PPE), and allowed surgical practice with results.
Sixty-one out of 64 centers (95.3%) fulfilled the survey. One third of ICUs were transformed into COVID-19 dedicated-ICUs and one-third moved to another location inside the hospital. Negative-pressure rooms were available in 60.6% centers. Informative measures from hospital administration were received after the first COVID-19 admitted case in 36.1% and during the spread of the infection inside the hospital in 19.6%. Inadequate supply of PPE was common, with no COVID-surveillance of the medical personnel in 4.9% of centers. COVID-19 infected 7.4% of staff surgeons, 8.3% of residents and 9.5% of anesthetists. Cardiac surgery caseload declined in 93.4% centers. COVID-19 infection in patients receiving cardiac surgery resulted in 41-50% mortality in 9.5% centers, and 91-100% mortality in 4.7% centers. Successful weaning with survival from veno-venous extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and veno-arterial ECMO was <50% in 79.2% and 80.0% centers respectively. COVID-19 infection in transplanted patients was rare, with a reported mortality of 0.5% and 1% in one center each.
There is room for improvement in hospital surveillance, informative measures and PPE to the personnel. These measurements will reduce current spread of COVID-19 infection among medical personnel and patients, helping the rump up of cardiac surgical practice.