Documenting the recovery of vascular services in European centres following the initial COVID-19 pandemic peak: Results from a multicentre collaborative study

The VERN COVER study collaborative (2022) Documenting the recovery of vascular services in European centres following the initial COVID-19 pandemic peak: Results from a multicentre collaborative study. EJVES Vascular Forum, 57. pp. 28-34. ISSN 2666-688X

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Objective: To document the recovery of vascular services in Europe following the first COVID-19 pandemic peak. Methods: An online structured vascular service survey with repeated data entry between 23 March and 9 August 2020 was carried out. Unit level data were collected using repeated questionnaires addressing modifications to vascular services during the first peak (March – May 2020, “period 1”), and then again between May and June (“period 2”) and June and July 2020 (“period 3”). The duration of each period was similar. From 2 June, as reductions in cases began to be reported, centres were first asked if they were in a region still affected by rising cases, or if they had passed the peak of the first wave. These centres were asked additional questions about adaptations made to their standard pathways to permit elective surgery to resume. Results: The impact of the pandemic continued to be felt well after countries’ first peak was thought to have passed in 2020. Aneurysm screening had not returned to normal in 21.7% of centres. Carotid surgery was still offered on a case by case basis in 33.8% of centres, and only 52.9% of centres had returned to their normal aneurysm threshold for surgery. Half of centres (49.4%) believed their management of lower limb ischaemia continued to be negatively affected by the pandemic. Reduced operating theatre capacity continued in 45.5% of centres. Twenty per cent of responding centres documented a backlog of at least 20 aortic repairs. At least one negative swab and 14 days of isolation were the most common strategies used for permitting safe elective surgery to recommence. Conclusion: Centres reported a broad return of services approaching pre-pandemic “normal” by July 2020. Many introduced protocols to manage peri-operative COVID-19 risk. Backlogs in cases were reported for all major vascular surgeries.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The study has received financial grant support from the Circulation Foundation (Vascular charity, no grant reference). The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has provided salary support for the co-chief investigators (reference: NIHR000359) and co-study leads (reference: NIHR202011). The funders have not played any role in study design, analysis, or writing of the report. Funding Information: The VERN executive committee would like to formally acknowledge the support and collaboration with the following international groups and networks: Vascular Society of Great Britain and Ireland (VSGBI); Rouleaux Club (RC); GLOBALSurg; British Society of Endovascular Therapy (BSET); Singapore Vascular Surgical Collaborative (SingVasc); Vascupedia (European vascular education platform); VASCUNET (global collaboration of International Vascular Registries); Australian and New Zealand Vascular Trials Network (ANZVTN); Audible Bleeding (evidence based podcast, USA); British Society of Interventional Radiology (BSIR); BSIR Trainees (BSIRT); International Working Group in the Diabetic Foot (IWGDF); the European Society of Vascular Surgery (ESVS); European Vascular Surgeons in Training (EVST); and STARSurg (UK based student surgical research network). We would also like to thank Sonia Kandola and the Department of Research and Development at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK (study sponsor site), and Irene Cruikshanks and Thomas Koller for Spanish and German translations. These partner groups and colleagues have enabled dissemination of the study and participation from multiple nations worldwide, which has been invaluable in the success of the COVER study to date. Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s)
Uncontrolled Keywords: aaa,covid-19,pad,survey,vascular surgery,surgery,cardiology and cardiovascular medicine ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2746
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 03 May 2023 12:30
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 12:30
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejvsvf.2022.10.002

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