Stroke Care Emergency Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Acute repetitive seizures
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Stroke Council Leadership has released the “Temporary Emergency Guidance to US Stroke Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

The Stroke Council Leadership recommends that US stroke centers:
•    Adhere to treatment guidelines for individuals to ensure appropriate stroke care is provided to the extent possible during the crisis;
•    Seek ways to minimize the use of scarce personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce the number of team members responding to emergency stroke patients;
•    Increase the use of interactive videoconferencing in the remote delivery of acute stroke care, also known as telestroke;
•    Follow their local health department, Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization guidelines on hand washing, use of PPE and COVID-19 testing and evaluation;
•    Continue to deliver multidisciplinary, collaborative stroke care to individuals for a unified Stroke System of Care; 
•    Ask medical personnel who are exposed or contract COVID-19 to self-quarantine as appropriate.

The Stroke Council Leadership noted, “While these recommendations have not yet undergone the traditional rigorous process of development, refinement and peer review … we acknowledge the mounting concern regarding optimal stroke care during the COVID-19 pandemic among vascular neurologists and those clinicians who care for individuals with stroke. We issue this temporary statement as an interim stopgap opinion, pending a more thorough and considered process.”
The Stroke Council Leadership will continue to collect patient protocols and best practices and to evaluate and update the statement continuously during the crisis.

Additional Resources:
•    Coronavirus – precautions and information for all
•    COVID-19 Content: An AHA Compendium – resources for health care professionals
•    Additional editorials on stroke care during COVID-19, recently published in Stroke

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