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Initial Impact Of Covid-19 On Congenital Heart Surgery Programs In The United States And Canada
James S. St.louis1, Elizabeth Stephens2, Joseph Dearani2, Christo Tchervenkou3, James O'Brien4, James Tweddell5, Jeffery Jacobs6, Emile Bacha7, James Kirklin8.
1Children Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO, USA, 2Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA, 3Montreal Childrens, Montreal, QC, Canada, 4Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO, USA, 5Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA, 6University of Florida, Gainsville, FL, USA, 7Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York City, NY, USA, 8University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA.

Objective(s): The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our entire health care system, but the specific effect on congenital heart programs remains incompletely understood. The CHSS, WSPCHS and ECHSA surveyed congenital heart programs to assess the pandemic’s impact.
Methods: Surveys were disturbed to congenital heart surgeons worldwide, consisting of 50-questions focused on the impact of the pandemic on congenital heart surgery programs from March-27th to May-4th,2020. There were 210 responders; 59 were US and Canadian surgeons and are the focus of this review. Follow-up surveys will also be distributed at 3, 6 and 12 months.
Results: A majority(62%) were stand-alone children’s hospitals. Few(34%) were designated as COVID-19 referral centers. Nearly all(97%) hospitals canceled “elective” procedures, admissions and outpatient clinic activities. Hospital resources were not significantly reduced(Table). Almost half(44%) of congenital heart surgery programs had reported reallocation of resources due to the pandemic, with 95% postponing elective cases. All centers continued to operate on neonates and provided emergent surgery. At the time of this survey, 97% of programs have not resumed elective cases, with 87% anticipating a 2 to 4 months delay to reactivation.
Conclusions: There is a definite, although ill-defined impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on resources of congenital heart surgery programs. Most programs continue to postpone the more “elective” procedures and the potential negative, unintended consequences of this delay in the CHD population require further evaluation.

Table
Resource% Hospitals Experiencing Shortage
Blood Supply24%
ICU Beds10%
Ventilators1%


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