Amit Kumar, MBBS, ABS, FACS, RPVI

Consultant – Vascular Surgery

Covid 19 or the Coronavirus is a virus transmitted through respiratory droplets. As its spread is seen globally, there are many questions that our patients have been asking us and we are addressing these below. Our mission is to support all vascular patients and their concerns about their Vascular disease and the Corona virus.

What is now becoming clear is that the virus can spread when you have “NO” or “MINIMAL” symptoms. So even if you have such symptoms, remember, others can be infected by you even at this time. This is why we need to continue with the “social distancing” and hand washing precautions.

Treatment – there is NO effective treatment at the present time directed specifically to the Coronavirus. Only supportive treatment can be offered at the present time for patients with symptoms.

Vaccination – A trial is currently underway in the US on 45 patients. This is a multiphase trial which is likely to require close to 18 months.

Re-infection – we don’t know if you can be reinfected and despite having recovered from the virus, one needs to continue with the precautions as if you were at risk of being infected again.

Listed below is the specific management of your particular vascular condition and the potential impact of the virus on your disease –

Aortic aneurysm – This is a serious condition. While the coronavirus has not been shown to have a direct effect on aneurysms, it is important that we continue to take care of this.          If you are known to have this, please reach out to your vascular specialist to map out a plan for any symptoms you might have. What is  important is that you continue with the plan of smoking cessation and blood pressure control.

Varicose veins and lipedema – The virus has NOT been shown to have any significant impact on this. If you have any discomfort from the veins, please use compression stockings. Preferably Class II,   if not, Class I will suffice.

DVT – The impact of Coronavirus is not known on this problem. However, it is of vital importance that you continue with the anticoagulation regimen that has been outlined by your treating doctor. Also of importance is that you walk regularly, taking the appropriate social distancing precautions. In addition you must stay hydrated drinking 2 to 3 liters of water, unless advised otherwise by your physician. If you are in need of a prescription refill, you might not have to go to the clinic / hospital, and the prescription paper can be sent to you electronically.

 

Carotid artery stenosis or Peripheral artery disease – While having these set of diseases, is not of itself directly impacted by the Coronavirus, however most patients with these problems have other medical problems and hence are at higher risk of complications from the Coronavirus. You MUST make sure you are taking the precautions of minimizing contact with others and must wash hands with soap and water, after contact with anybody.

 

Lymphedema – While idiopathic lymphedema has not been shown to have any impact from the coronavirus and so the management with manual lymphatic massage and compression stockings should continue. However, those patients who have lymphedema after having had breast surgery, the concern is the low immunity from the cancer or the chemo / radiation treatment. Therefore, you MUST make sure you are taking the precautions of minimizing contact with others and must wash hands with soap and water, after contact with anybody. Wearing a mask at any time that you have to step out is also likely to help.

 

Dialysis – Of all vascular patients, those on dialysis are often times the most immunocompromised. If you suffer from kidney disease and are currently on dialysis, , you MUST make sure you are taking the precautions of minimizing contact with others and must wash hands with soap and water, after contact with anybody. Wearing a mask at any time that you have to step out is also likely to help.

If you have any further queries in this regard, you can reach out to us at admin@vascular.ae before going to a clinic.

For a comprehensive list of precautions and detailed information on the Coronavirus please refer to:

WHO
CDC
AMA