Variation in Urgent Imaging Requests for Stroke during the Covid-19 pandemic. Review of a National Dataset
Item Type:Journal Article
Citation:McDonagh, R., Sheehy, N. & Harbison, J., Variation in Urgent Imaging Requests for Stroke during the Covid-19 pandemic. Review of a National Dataset, Irish Journal of Medical Science, 2020
FAST CT and Covid.docx (Pre-print (author's copy) - Non-Peer Reviewed) 47.42Kb
Introduction. The Covid-19 pandemic has been associated with a reduction in the number of Emergency presentations with acute stroke. Ireland operates a National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) and has implemented a single order package, FAST CT, for suspected stroke incorporating non-contrast CT, multiphase cerebral angiography and CT perfusion. We examined the frequency of requests made during the pandemic to assess national changes in emergency stroke activity. Methods. Data were obtained from NIMIS as to numbers of CT FAST sequences performed per day from 1st December 2019 to 30th June 2020. Four periods were analysed; baseline (1st December 2019-29th February 2020), first case to lockdown (1st -24th March 2020), lockdown to first easing of restrictions (25th March-17th May) and gradual removal of lockdown restrictions (18th May -30th June). Data were compared to number of daily reported Covid-19 cases. Results. Data for 1849 individuals were assessed. An average of 9.32 (SD 1.40) daily urgent scans were performed during baseline. This fell 9.3% to 8.45 (SD 1.42) between 1st case and lockdown (p=0.06, t-test). During Lockdown the rate fell to 8.03/day (SD 2.71), a 13.8% reduction on baseline. During relaxation of lockdown numbers increased to 8.80/day (SD 3.44). The worst 7-day period was leading up to lockdown where numbers fell by 41.7%. Conclusion. Number of scans requested declined by a modest but statistically significant level over the period of the pandemic and lockdown. They began to recover as lockdown was eased. The maximal decline corresponded with the period immediately before lockdown.
Type of material:Journal Article
Series/Report no:Irish Journal of Medical Science;
Availability:Full text available