Fifteen major cardiovascular societies in North America, including SNMMI, have come together to outline a systematic approach to reinstating diagnostic and therapeutic cardiovascular services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations are jointly published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the Canadian Journal of Cardiology and The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
“COVID-19 forced hospitals to suspend all non-essential procedures at the height of the epidemic,” said SNMMI President Vasken Dilsizian. “We need to plan for a careful reintroduction of those procedures in a safe and appropriate manner.”
The document provides a framework for a collaborative approach between healthcare delivery systems, regional governments and physicians. “There should be a sustained reduction in the rate of new COVID-19 admissions and mortality in the relevant geographic area before this roadmap can be implemented,” said David Wood, MD, lead author of the article. “A cohesive partnership with regional public health authorities will facilitate this dynamic balance between the provision of essential cardiovascular care and responding to ongoing fluctuations in COVID-19 admissions and mortality.”
Authors also emphasized the need to consider ethical considerations and, most importantly, protection of patients and healthcare workers.
In addition to the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, societies represented on the document include the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American Society of Echocardiography, American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, Canadian Association of Interventional Cardiology, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, Canadian Heart Failure Society, Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons, Heart Rhythm Society, Heart Valve Society, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Visit SNMMI’s COVID-19 Resource Center for COVID-related resources specific to nuclear medicine.