What we are seeing in recent months is that a lot of our patients presented with more severe life-threatening heart disease compared to before the COVID pandemic began. Many people, due to perceived risk or fear of contracting COVID in hospitals, chose to ignore their chest pain or other cardiac symptoms. It is very important to remember that delaying the diagnosis or treatment of heart disease could have potentially life-threatening consequences.
The tweet below is a real-life example this summer. This young diabetic patient has been suffering from angina for a few months. He first consulted Dr Chai and underwent a CT coronary angiogram which revealed severe multi-vessel coronary artery disease. During subsequent consultation, Dr Chai explained the severity of his coronary artery disease to him and recommended urgent percutaneous coronary intervention (stenting) treatment. However, despite nearly an hour of careful explanation (and frankly plea!), this patient declined his heart procedure due to COVID anxiety.
He presented later in the summer as an emergency heart attack and by serendipity Dr Chai was on-call that night. His heart stopped and Dr Chai spent 2 hours reviving him whilst performing complex angioplasty unblocking his heart arteries whilst administering mechanical chest compression.
Young diabetic man with angina and CTCA showing severe LAD and Cx disease. Refused Angio in May due to fear of #COVID. Presented to #WexhamCardiology with cardiogenic shock and pulmonary oedema. Horrible coronaries and arrested as soon as I started. Here is how it unfolds ? pic.twitter.com/tyezJumJ9R— Joshua Chai (@DrJoshuaChai) July 31, 2020
Miraculously, this patient survived to tell the tale - in fact thanks to Dr Chai and his team's dedication and heroic effort that night, this patient went home after 10 days with no neurological damage!
Remember - don't let COVID delay the diagnosis and treatment of potential heart disease!
Our dedicated private clinic facility at CardioQinetics Uxbridge Heart Clinic, as well as our diagnostic and invasive treatment suite at Parkside Wexham Private Suite, has the highest infection control standards and continues to carry out protected face-to-face consultation, diagnostics, as well as treatment of the full spectrum of heart disease during COVID and beyond.