Stephen Bloom, M.D., FASNC, director of noninvasive cardiology (cardiac CT, nuclear cardiology and echocardiography) at Midwest Heart and Vascular Associates, Overland Park, Kansas. He is also a member of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) Board of Directors, explains some of the issues involved and protocols used for cardiac imaging during the COVID-19 pandemic. His discussion includes computed tomography, cardiac ultrasound and nuclear imaging.
Right now, Bloom said it is difficult to test everybody and there is a shortage of masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE), and the imaging equipment needs to be sanitized each time it is used. He said it is just is not possible to image all the patients who need imaging right now. Hospitals also are trying to limit the number of healthy people people coming into hospitals for routine visits and tests to reduce their potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2) and help containment efforts.
"The tests should be done, very simply, if it changes the care of the patient. If it doesn't change the care of the patient, and it can be postponed, it should be postponed," Bloom explained. "I would say 80 percent of our cardiac imaging exams have stopped. It has been very dramatic."
Related Imaging Precautions During COVID-19 Content:
Cardiac Imaging Best Practices During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Best Practices for Nuclear Cardiology Laboratories During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
ASE Guidelines for the Protection of Echocardiography Providers During the COVID-19 Outbreak
VIDEO: Best Practices for Nuclear Cardiology During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Interview with Hicham Skali, M.D.
VIDEO: Cancelling Non-essential Cardiac Procedures During the COVID-19 Outbreak — Interview with Ehtisham Mahmud, M.D.
VIDEO: 9 Cardiologists Share COVID-19 Takeaways From Across the U.S.
VIDEO: Telemedicine in Cardiology and Medical Imaging During COVID-19 — Interview with Regina Druz, M.D.
VIDEO: Use of Teleradiology During the COVID-19 Pandemic — an interview with radiologist John Kim, M.D.
Study Looks at CT Findings of COVID-19 Through Recovery
Experts Stress Radiology Preparedness for COVID-19
VIDEO: Imaging COVID-19 With Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) — Interview with emergency physician Mike Stone, M.D.,
VIDEO: How China Leveraged Health IT to Combat COVID-19 — Interview with Jilan Liu, M.D., CEO for the HIMSS Greater China
ACR Recommendations for the Use of Chest Radiography and CT for Suspected COVID-19 Cases
VIDEO: What Cardiologists Need to Know about COVID-19 — Interview with Thomas Maddox, M.D.
The Cardiac Implications of Novel Coronavirus