IMR Press / RCM / Volume 21 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.31083/j.rcm.2020.02.90
Open Access Review
Safe performance of echocardiography during the COVID-19 pandemic: a practical guide
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1 Department of Medical Biotechnologies, Division of Cardiology, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy
2 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå 90187, Sweden
3 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, St George London university, London SW17 0RE, United Kingdom
4 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Brunel University, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
5 Adult Intensive Care Unit, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London SW3 6NJ, United Kingdom
6 Department of Clinical Medical and Neurosciences, Respiratory Disease and Lung Transplantation Section, Le Scotte Hospital, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy
7 Department of Medical Biotechnologies, Anesthesia and Intensive Care, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy
Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2020 , 21(2), 217–223; https://doi.org/10.31083/j.rcm.2020.02.90
Submitted: 13 May 2020 | Revised: 15 June 2020 | Accepted: 18 June 2020 | Published: 30 June 2020
Abstract

Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has become a worldwide healthcare emergency, with continuously growing number of infected subjects. Considering the easy virus spread through respiratory droplets produced with cough, sneezes or spit or through close contact with infected people or surfaces, healthcare workers are further exposed to COVID-19. Particularly, echocardiography remains an essential diagnostic service which, due to the close contact with patients during the exam, provides echocardiographers high-risk of contagion. Therefore, the common modalities of performing echocardiography should be improved in this scenario, avoiding performing unnecessary exams, using the appropriate personal protective equipment depending on patients’ status and location, optimizing time-effectiveness of the echocardiographic study and accurately sanitizing the environment and devices after each exam. This paper aims to provide a simple guide for the clinicians to balance between providing the best care to each patient and protecting themselves and other patients from the spread of the virus. It also proposes the use of the mnemonic PREVENT to resume the crucial indications to be followed for the execution of appropriate echocardiographic examination during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords
COVID-19
echocardiography
SARS-CoV2
personal protective equipment
coronavirus
pandemic
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