ESC Acute CardioVascular Care 2021 highlights urgent cardiac care during COVID-19 pandemic

International experience on treatment of COVID-19 and maintaining emergency cardiac services during the pandemic will be revealed at ESC Acute CardioVascular Care 2021, an online scientific congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Acute cardiovascular care is the specialty of cardiology dealing with critically ill cardiac patients suffering from urgent and life-threatening conditions including heart attack, cardiac arrest, acute heart failure, cardiogenic shock and others. The annual congress of the Association for Acute CardioVascular Care (ACVC), a branch of the ESC, takes place 13 and 14 March online.

Novel findings will be showcased in the abstracts and discussed with peers and experts online, including treatment of heart attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, differences between men and women in relation to cardiovascular disease, life expectancy after a heart attack, and interactions between exhaustion, mindfulness and heart health.

The scientific programme features a mix of scheduled and on-demand sessions. Among them: cardiac arrest management during a global pandemic.

The global COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in out of hospital cardiac arrests, a reduction in first aid by laypeople, an increase in response times, and a worsening of outcomes. Strategies to improve bystander and in-hospital care in pandemic situations will be discussed."

Dr. Konstantin Krychtiuk, Scientific Chair, Congress of the European Society of Cardiology

An entire session is devoted to the human factor in acute cardiac care and virus pandemics. Including rapid decision-making with no evidence, communication with patients and families, and end of life decisions. "Acute and intensive cardiac care deals with dramatic life situations with a lack of evidence for many interventions," said Dr. Krychtiuk. "Communication is a central aspect, which has been hampered during the COVID-19 pandemic. End of life decisions are a common companion in acute cardiac care, and in the pandemic this topic has gained sad importance."

Not to miss: two sessions with the latest perspectives on COVID-19 from Asia, Europe and the US. Dr. Krychtiuk said: "Country specific experiences in the treatment of COVID-19 as well as strategies on maintaining acute care pathways for acute cardiovascular diseases in the middle of a pandemic situation will be discussed. In addition, experts will provide insights on the typical complications of COVID-19, including cardiac complications."

Also on the agenda: up-to-the minute data on how to diagnose and treat serious and acute cardiac side effects of modern cancer treatments including immune checkpoint inhibitors.

No one left behind: improving acute cardiovascular care in women. Dr. Krychtiuk said: "Hot topics in this session are the differences in clinical presentation between men and women and continuing disparities in care and outcomes. A focus will be put on MINOCA (myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries) and coronary dissection, two pathologies more commonly seen in women, as well as the sometimes dramatic presentation of peripartum cardiomyopathy."

Hear how prevention of subsequent heart problems starts in the acute phase. Dr. Krychtiuk explained: "While acute treatment saves lives - for example stent implantation after a heart attack - prevention is the cornerstone to improving long-term outcomes. This session aims to fine-tune how acute care physicians identify high risk patients in the intensive or coronary care unit so they can start evidence-based therapies shown to enhance lifelong health."

The congress brings together cardiologists, intensivists, anesthesiologists, internists, cardiac surgeons, nurses, paramedics and other allied professionals who care for acutely ill cardiac patients.

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