New England Journal of Medicine (05/08/20) doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2014816
Kansagra, Akash P.; Goyal, Manu S.; Hamilton, Scott; et al.
The number of patients who underwent imaging for the evaluation of stroke decreased from a prepandemic epoch to an early pandemic epoch, according to new research. In a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine, Akash P. Kansagra, M.D., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues report they examined data for 231,753 patients who underwent imaging processed with RAPID software in 856 U.S. hospitals from July 1, 2019 through April 27, 2020. In March 2020, there was a reduction in the daily counts of unique patients who underwent imaging, the data show. When comparing the prepandemic epoch of Feb. 1 to Feb. 29, 2020 to the early pandemic epoch ranging from March 26, 2020 through April 8, 2020, the number of patients who underwent imaging with RAPID software dropped by 39%, from 1.18 patients per day per hospital to 0.72 patients per day per hospital. The decrease was seen in all age, sex, and stroke severity subgroups, and in most states and across a range of hospital volumes, the researchers report.