A Consensus Statement from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)
The worldwide pandemic caused by the novel acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has resulted in a new and lethal disease termed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19). Although there is an association between cardiovascular disease and COVID‐19, the majority of patients who need cardiovascular care for the management of ischemic heart disease may not be infected with this novel coronavirus. The objective of this document is to provide recommendations for a systematic approach for the care of patients with an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) during the COVID‐19 pandemic. There is a recognition of two major challenges in providing recommendations for AMI care in the COVID‐19 era. Cardiovascular manifestations of COVID‐19 are complex with patients presenting with AMI, myocarditis simulating an ST‐elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) presentation, stress cardiomyopathy, non‐ischemic cardiomyopathy, coronary spasm, or nonspecific myocardial injury, and the prevalence of COVID‐19 disease in the US population remains unknown with risk of asymptomatic spread. This document addresses the care of these patients focusing on (a) varied clinical presentations; (b) appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) for health care workers; (c) the roles of the emergency department, emergency medical system, and the cardiac catheterization laboratory (CCL); and (4) regional STEMI systems of care. During the COVID‐19 pandemic, primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) remains the standard of care for STEMI patients at PCI‐capable hospitals when it can be provided in a timely manner, with an expert team outfitted with PPE in a dedicated CCL room. A fibrinolysis‐based strategy may be entertained at non‐PCI‐capable referral hospitals or in specific situations where primary PCI cannot be executed or is not deemed the best option.