From March to May 2020, the Italian health care system, as many others, was almost entirely devoted to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, a number of questions arose, from the increased stroke risk due to COVID-19 infection to the quality of stroke patient care. The overwhelming need of COVID-19 patient management made mandatory a complete re-organization of the stroke pathways: many health professionals were reallocated and a number of stroke units was turned into COVID-19 wards. As a result, acute stroke care suffered from a shortage of services and delays in time-dependent treatments and diagnostic work-up. In-patient and out-patient care and rehabilitation facilities for stroke survivors were also reduced or slowed down, to direct resources to COVID-19 patients care and to reduce contagion risks. Overall, this is likely to result in a significant future increased burden of complications and disabilities that will impact the health care systems in the coming months. Thus, while still fighting against COVID-19 disease, authorities need to promptly implement robust action plans, including an increase of workforce, without forgetting the assurance of a high level of stroke care. The medical community and the health care administrators should always keep in mind that stroke was before, and will be after the pandemic, a, sometimes, life-threatening condition, and almost always a disease with a severe impact on the quality of life.

Stroke care in Italy at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: a lesson to learn / A. Bersano, L. Pantoni. - In: JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY. - ISSN 0340-5354. - 268:7(2020), pp. 2307-2313. [10.1007/s00415-020-10200-2]

Stroke care in Italy at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic: a lesson to learn

L. Pantoni
2020

Abstract

From March to May 2020, the Italian health care system, as many others, was almost entirely devoted to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, a number of questions arose, from the increased stroke risk due to COVID-19 infection to the quality of stroke patient care. The overwhelming need of COVID-19 patient management made mandatory a complete re-organization of the stroke pathways: many health professionals were reallocated and a number of stroke units was turned into COVID-19 wards. As a result, acute stroke care suffered from a shortage of services and delays in time-dependent treatments and diagnostic work-up. In-patient and out-patient care and rehabilitation facilities for stroke survivors were also reduced or slowed down, to direct resources to COVID-19 patients care and to reduce contagion risks. Overall, this is likely to result in a significant future increased burden of complications and disabilities that will impact the health care systems in the coming months. Thus, while still fighting against COVID-19 disease, authorities need to promptly implement robust action plans, including an increase of workforce, without forgetting the assurance of a high level of stroke care. The medical community and the health care administrators should always keep in mind that stroke was before, and will be after the pandemic, a, sometimes, life-threatening condition, and almost always a disease with a severe impact on the quality of life.
Care; Covid-19; Emergency; Italy; Outbreak; Pathways; Stroke
Settore MED/26 - Neurologia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/859624
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