OBJECTIVE: The aim of the COVER Study is to identify global outcomes and decision making for vascular procedures during the pandemic.
BACKGROUND DATA: During its initial peak, there were many reports of delays to vital surgery and the release of several guidelines advising later thresholds for vascular surgical intervention for key conditions.
METHODS: An international multi-centre observational study of outcomes following open and endovascular interventions.
RESULTS: In an analysis of 1,103 vascular intervention (57 centres in 19 countries), 71.6% were elective or scheduled procedures. Mean age was 67 ± 14 years (75.6% male). Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection was documented in 4.0%. Overall, in-hospital mortality was 11.0%. (aortic interventions mortality 15.2% [23/151], amputations 12.1% [28/232], carotid interventions 10.7% [11/103], lower limb revascularisations 9.8% [51/521]). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Odds ratio [OR] 2.02, 95% CI 1.30-3.15) and active lower respiratory tract infection due to any cause (OR 24.94, 95% CI 12.57-241.70) ware associated with mortality, whereas elective or scheduled cases were lower risk (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.22-0.73 and 0.60, 95% CI 0.45-0.98 respectively. After adjustment, antiplatelet (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.503, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]:0.273 - 0.928) and oral anticoagulation (OR 0.411, 95% CI: 0.205 - 0.824) were linked to reduced risk of in-hospital mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Mortality following vascular interventions during this period was unexpectedly high. Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases were uncommon. Therefore an alternative cause e.g. recommendations for delayed surgery, should be considered. The vascular community must anticipate longer term implications for survival.