Cardiac Surgery in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Guidance Statement From the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons
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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 was a pandemic.1 At that time, only 118,000 cases had been reported globally, 90% of which had occurred in 4 countries.1 Since then, the world landscape has changed dramatically. As of March 31, 2020, there are now nearly 800,000 cases, with truly global involvement.2 Countries that were previously unaffected are currently experiencing mounting rates of the novel coronavirus infection with associated increases in COVID-19-related deaths. At present, Canada has more than 8000 cases of COVID-19, with considerable variation in rates of infection among provinces and territories.3 Amid concerns over growing resource constraints, cardiac surgeons from across Canada have been forced to make drastic changes to their clinical practices. From prioritizing and delaying elective cases to altering therapeutic strategies in high-risk patients, cardiac surgeons, along with their heart teams, are having to reconsider how best to manage their patients. It is with this in mind that the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons (CSCS) and its Board of Directors have come together to formulate a series of guiding statements. With strong representation from across the country and the support of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the authors have attempted to provide guidance to their colleagues on the subjects of leadership roles that cardiac surgeons may assume during this pandemic: patient assessment and triage, risk reduction, and real-time sharing of expertise and experiences.
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