A BIBA MedTech Insights survey indicates that 50% of centres performing structural heart procedures believe that they will need to increase the number of operating days per week to manage the elective cases that have been put on hold because of COVID-19. However, 22% believe that no extra measures will be required and the backlog will be cleared in time.
To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on elective procedures, BIBA MedTech Insights polled centres across the USA and Europe, asking interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons about the structural heart procedures that they were currently performing. Out of 220 centres, 49% said that they were only performing procedures for the most critical patients and 26% said that they were not performing any procedures at all. However, these figures did change depending on the procedure. For example, they were, respectively, 58% and 19% for transcatheter valve procedures (including transcatheter aortic valve implantation) vs. 25% and 53% for left atrial appendage occlusion. The figures also changed depending on whether the respondents were based in Europe or the USA, with a greater proportion of European respondents not performing any procedures than those in the USA (34% vs. 6%).
Given that some areas have now passed the peak of the pandemic, centres in these areas are looking to do elective procedures again. Therefore, the survey asked respondents what measures they felt would be required to clear the backlog of elective procedures. It found that 50% believed there would be a need to increase the number of operating days per week and 34% thought increasing the number of operating hours per day would be necessary. However, 22% felt there was no need for extra measures and the backlog would “clear in time”. See Figure 1.