Background and aim: First reported in December of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has had a profound impact on the implementation of care. Here, we describe our institutional experience with a rapid influx of patients at the epicenter of the pandemic.
Methods: We retrospectively review our experience with the departments of cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, anesthesia, and critical care medicine and summarize protocols developed in the midst of the pandemic.
Results: The rapid influx of patients requiring an intensive level of care required a complete restructuring of units, including the establishment of a new COVID-19 negative unit for the care of patients requiring urgent or emergent non-COVID-19 related care including open-heart surgery. This unique unit allowed for the delivery of safe and effective care in the epicenter of the pandemic.
Conclusions: Here, we demonstrate the response of a large tertiary academic medical center to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we demonstrate how rapid structural changes can allow for the continued delivery of cardiac surgical care with similar outcomes as those reported before the pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; cardiac surgery.
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