Med J Aust. 2020 Jul 31. doi: 10.5694/mja2.50714. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) increases the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19, and COVID-19 itself causes serious cardiac sequelae. Strategies to minimise the risk of viral transmission to health care workers and uninfected cardiac patients while prioritising high quality cardiac care are urgently needed. We conducted a rapid literature appraisal and review of key documents identified by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Board and Council members, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons, and key cardiology, surgical and public health opinion leaders.
MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS: Common acute cardiac manifestations of COVID-19 include left ventricular dysfunction, heart failure, arrhythmias and acute coronary syndromes. The presence of underlying CVD confers a five- to tenfold higher case fatality rate with COVID-19 disease. Special precautions are needed to avoid viral transmission to this population at risk. Adaptive health care delivery models and resource allocation are required throughout the health care system to address this need.
CHANGES IN MANAGEMENT AS A RESULT OF THIS STATEMENT: Cardiovascular health services and cardiovascular health care providers need to recognise the increased risk of COVID-19 among CVD patients, upskill in the management of COVID-19 cardiac manifestations, and reorganise and innovate in service delivery models to meet demands. This consensus statement, endorsed by the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons, the National Heart Foundation of Australia and the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia summarises important issues and proposes practical approaches to cardiovascular health care delivery to patients with and without SARS-CoV-2 infection.