Heart attack care guidelines for COVID-19

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Three cardiology-related medical organizations have released recommendations on how best to approach care for heart attack patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) published their guidelines online April 20 in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, the official journal of SCAI and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Among the recommendations is ensuring the public that steps are in place to minimize as much as possible the chance of becoming infected with the novel coronavirus. With that in mind, people should continue to call for emergency medical assistance if they experience acute ischemic heart disease symptoms and undergo any necessary treatment.

The document also provides strategies for maximizing the safety of medical personnel through appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and by masking patients.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to ensure that patients continue to benefit from the tremendous advances made in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease over the past three decades," said lead author Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud, SCAI president, in a statement. "Primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is the standard of care for acute myocardial infarction patients, and in this document, we outline an approach to providing that therapy at PCI-capable hospitals while also ensuring health care worker safety with appropriate PPE."

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