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Pandemic Impacts Pediatric Heart Transplants Nationwide

By Randolph Fillmore

No one needs to be reminded of how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted or complicated nearly every aspect of our lives, including health care. While daily news feeds have kept us abreast of rising hospitalizations for COVID-19 and the resulting challenges for health care systems, recent reports have revealed the spike of COVID-19 pediatric cases.  

As recently noted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association 203,962 pediatric COVID-19 cases were reported during the week from Aug. 19 to Aug. 26, 2021 representing 22.4% of the weekly reported cases.

One under-reported issue, however, is how COVID-19, from the early months of the pandemic, has affected those children on the “waitlist” for heart transplants.

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“From the beginning, the COVID-19 pandemic has had severe implications for patients who are on waitlists for transplants,” says Awais Ashfaq, MBBS, a cardiovascular surgeon at the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute and lead author on a study recently published in the North American regional journal of Lancet.

This study described the regional and national variation in adult and pediatric heart transplant activity and waitlist mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic for the year 2020 as compared to the previous three years.  

Read more:  Read the full story by Randy Fillmore

 

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