Cardiovascular specialists from across the globe shared current knowledge and key experience of managing COVID-19 patients as part of a webinar organised by the Imperial College Network of Excellence in Vascular Science at Imperial College London.
The four-part COVID-19 Cardiovascular Conference covered several topics including: cumulative clinical experience of COVID-19; the science behind COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease and therapeutic possibilities; prevention, equipment and information technology; and, team working and adaptation.
Among those to present were Alfonso Ielasi (Clinical and Interventional Cardiology Unit, Sant’Ambrogio Cardio-Thoracic Center, Milan, Italy ) who detailed his country’s response to the pandemic, and Ajay Kirtane (Columbia University Irving Medical Centre/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, USA) who reported a cardiac perspective on the pandemic. Richard Schilling (St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London NHS Trust, London) also shared details of the establishment of the UK’s first COVID-19 field hospital, NHS Nightingale, at London’s Docklands.
Further sessions looked at clinical data from COVID-19 cases, with Graham Cole (Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK) discussing a possible link between raised troponin levels in myocardial injury and the likely implications for COVID-19 patients. Other presentations in the same session dealt with the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 (Peter Openshaw, Imperial College), the risk of vascular complications in COVID-19 (Joe Boyle, Imperial College), and novel technologies for investigating COVID-19 and the cardiovascular system (Amir Lerman, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA).
Additionally in another session, Simon Ray—president of the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS)—discussed issues around the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect healthcare professionals during the pandemic. During this session, Ricardo Petraco (Imperial College Healthcare Trust, London, UK) looked the use of PPE in the cath lab, advising on how to ensure that staff are protected “whilst offering excellence in cardiology care”. Bushra Rana (Imperial College Healthcare Trust) offered suggestions on protection in echocardiography.