Ever since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the world medical landscape has changed dramatically. As cardiac surgeons we not only have the duty to protect our patients and staff from COVID-19 infection, but we are also tasked with the responsibility to ensure those cardiovascular patients awaiting surgery are not harmed from an extended delay in surgery as the world comes to a halt from COVID-19. Currently there is limited literature on the outcome of cardiac surgery in the pre-operative Covid positive group. In this study we aim to assess the safety and outcome of patients undergoing cardiac surgery following Covid-19 infection.
Patients and methods
This was a single centre retrospective observational study. All patients undergoing open heart surgery at Institut Jantung Negara from June 2020 to July 2021 were included in this study. Patients who were Covid positive pre-operatively were identified. Data from patient medical records collected contemporaneously were reviewed and analysed, supplemented by telephone call interviews after discharge.
2368 patients underwent open heart surgery from June 2020 until July 2021 in our centre. Of these, 0.5% (12 patients) were identified as Covid positive pre-operatively. Mean age of patients were 59.1 ± 14.8 years old. Mean Ejection Fraction was 46.4 ± 12.9. Most patients (75%) were asymptomatic with covid infection and only one patient were admitted to hospital for Covid infection. Mean duration from Covid PCR positive swab to surgery were 46.3 ± 32.7days. Most of the patients (66.7%) underwent operation on an emergency or urgent basis. Median time to extubation was 1 day. Median ICU length of stay was 1 day. 25% patients required non-invasive ventilation post-operatively and one patient was discharged home on long term oxygen therapy. There were 2 deaths- none of which were covid related mortality.
Cardiac surgery could be performed safely in patients with pre-operative Covid-19 infection after a period of recovery, especially in the asymptomatic to mild category of infection. Multi-disciplinary team approach may be useful in deciding the timing of surgery for complex cases