The novel COVID-19 pandemic, not only is spreading itself exponentially, but is badly affecting the life in the whole world. Lockdown in almost every country, has not only affected the routine life of general public, but has also badly affected the economy.
But one of the most dangerous problems is the fear of pandemic among general public and full exploitation of hospital resources for the patients of corona virus, resulting in unavailability of services or delayed response towards other general patients.
This led to another severe issue, that has just been noticed in recent studies: Number of deaths as a result of heart attack has been tremendously increasing since the COVID-19 outbreak.
During a research, the data gathered from the four provinces of northern Italy, a region that was hit very hard and very early by coronavirus pandemic, the researchers found out that, between Feb. 21 and March 31, 2020, there was a 58% jump in the number of cardiac arrests that occurred before victims could get to the hospital, compared to the same time frame last year.
Moreover, in more than three-quarters of the cases, COVID-19 was diagnosed in the affected patients, said a team led by Dr. Enrico Baldi, of the University of Pavia. His team reported their findings online April 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Compared to 2019 rates, “the incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest at home was 7.3 percentage points higher,” the researchers noted, “and the incidence of unwitnessed cardiac arrest was 11.3 percentage points higher.”
The reasons behind this include, stress placed on the heart by COVID-19, a hesitancy by people to call 911, and even reluctance on the part of bystanders to perform CPR may be boosting rates of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Moreover, due to unavailability of resources, delay in response time of emergency services, hospitals and medical staff is the most important cause.
It also took an average 3 minutes longer for EMS crews to arrive on the scene of a cardiac arrest in 2020 versus 2019, and “the proportion of patients who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation [CPR] from bystanders was 15.6 percentage points lower,” Baldi’s group reported.
Same goes with United States of America (USA). “As we start analyzing the data in the U.S., we are taking the lead from countries that were hit hard first. We suspect similar findings in the U.S. when it comes to the dramatic increase of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.” said Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.