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AIMS: The COVID-19 pandemic required a significant redeployment of worldwide healthcare resources. Fear of infection, national lockdowns and altered healthcare priorities have the potential to impact utilisation of healthcare resources for non-communicable diseases. To survey health professionals' views of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rate and timing of admission of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) administered an internet-based questionnaire to cardiologists and cardiovascular nurses across 6 continents. METHODS AND RESULTS: 3101 responses were received from 141 countries across 6 continents. 88.3% responded that their country was in "total lockdown" and 7.1% in partial lockdown. 78.8% responded that the number of patients presenting with STEMI was reduced since the coronavirus outbreak and 65.2% indicated that the reduction in STEMI presentations was >40%. Approximately 60% of all respondents reported that STEMI patients presented later than usual and 58.5% that >40% of STEMI patients admitted to hospital presented beyond the optimal window for primary percutaneous intervention (PCI) or thrombolysis. Independent predictors of the reported higher rate of delayed STEMI presentation were a country in total lockdown, >100 COVID-19 cases admitted locally, and the complete restructuring of the local cardiology service. CONCLUSION: The survey indicates that the impact of COVID-19 on STEMI presentations is likely to be substantial, with both lower presentations and a higher rate of delayed presentations occurring. This has potentially important ramifications for future healthcare and policy planning in the event of further waves of this pandemic.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes

Publication Date





210 - 216


COVID-19, European Society of Cardiology, ST-elevation myocardial infarction, Betacoronavirus, COVID-19, Coronavirus Infections, Emergency Service, Hospital, Facilities and Services Utilization, Health Care Surveys, Hospitalization, Humans, Pandemics, Pneumonia, Viral, SARS-CoV-2, ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, Time-to-Treatment