The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of endovascular thrombectomy for stroke: an Irish perspective.
Large vessel occlusion
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JournalIrish journal of medical science
PubMed Central IDPMC9931560
AbstractBackground: The COVID-19 pandemic produced unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems. These challenges were amplified in the setting of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) for large vessel occlusion strokes given the time-sensitive nature of the procedure. Aims: To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on service provision at the primary endovascular stroke centre in Ireland. Methods: A retrospective review of the National Thrombectomy Service database was performed. All patients undergoing EVT from 1 January to 31 December inclusive of 2019 to 2021 were included. Patient demographics, functional outcomes and endovascular treatment time metrics were recorded. Results: Data from 2019, 2020 and 2021 were extracted. Three hundred seven thrombectomies were performed in 2019 and 2020; this number increased to 327 in 2021. Median time from arrival to groin puncture for thrombectomy was 64 min in 2019, increasing to 65 min in 2020. In 2021, this decreased to 52 min. Median time taken from groin puncture to first perfusion remained stable from 2019 to 2021 years at 20 min. Total duration of emergency thrombectomies reduced from 32 min in 2019 to 27 min in 2020. This increased to 29 min in 2021. Conclusions: Despite the myriad of challenges presented by the pandemic, service provision at the primary Irish ESC, and the referring hospitals, has proven to be robust. Procedural time metrics were maintained whilst the expected reduction in number of EVTs performed did not materialise, there actually being a significant increase in number of EVTs performed in the pandemic's second year.