Thomas Maddox, MD: Heart Attack, Stroke Patients Avoiding ER During COVID-19

While stay-at-home orders have slowed the spread of COVID-19, Thomas Maddox, MD, and the ACC are concerned it may be having a dangerous secondary impact.

While local and state governments have stressed the importance of stay-at-home orders and quarantines during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, new information suggests this insistence may have had some unintended, but dangerous consequences.

Cardiologists across the US and in other parts of the world are reporting noticeable drops in the number of patients admitted for acute coronary syndrome and stroke during the ongoing outbreak, suggesting some would-be patients may be suffering these events at home and opting to avoid emergency departments in fear of contracting COVID-19. Compounding this problem further is new data detailing the cardiovascular impact of the disease and indicating an association between COVID-19 and increased risk of thrombosis, including thrombotic stroke.

Though the problem is understandable—as patients with underlying cardiovascular disease among those at the greatest risk of mortality from COVID-19—it is one cardiologists are hoping they can address quickly. In recent weeks, major organizations, including the European Society of Cardiology and the American College of Cardiology, have released guidance or statements encouraging patients suffering from such events to seek out the necessary medical attention.

To learn more about this ongoing trend and the potential impact, HCPLive® caught up with Thomas Maddox, MD, professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine and chair of the American College of Cardiology, to get his insight on the issue.