Safe performance of echocardiography during the COVID-19 pandemic: a practical guide

Matteo Cameli, Maria Concetta Pastore, Michael Henein, Hatem Soliman Aboumarie, Giulia Elena Mandoli, Flavio D'Ascenzi, Paolo Cameli, Federico Franchi, Sergio Mondillo, Serafina Valente
Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine 2020 June 30, 21 (2): 217-223
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.

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