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24th March 2021
An advisory board was held in March 2020: TAVI experts came together to evaluate the treatment pathway for TAVI and post-TAVI permanent pacemaker insertion. The onset of atrioventricular conduction disturbance that requires PPI remains a common complication of TAVI. Currently, there is much inconsistency in TAVI pathways across the UK and there is no consistency in the PPI protocols following TAVI. Historically, identification and early referral of AS has been the focus: pacing has not always been considered during assessment.
PPI post-TAVI increases hospital mean length of stay and increased readmission rates, which presents capacity issues, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the long-term benefits in symptom improvement of TAVI appear to be lessened by PPI. But, these may influence PPI decisions as more often than not care decisions post-TAVI are based on hospital bed capacity.
It is, therefore, important to clearly define an improved best practice TAVI care pathway with a standardised protocol for PPI embedded within and which avoids patient delays; however, developing a consistent care pathway across different geographical areas remains challenging. Improving the referral pathway for patients could increase capacity in organisations for TAVI procedures and increase organisational efficiency of the MDT.
The care of patients with aortic stenosis (AS) globally has been turned topsy-turvy in the world of COVID-19. Most hospitals have put elective procedures on hold, despite the fact that non-treatment puts these patients at greater risk of mortality/cardiovascular deterioration (Smith) and that elderly patients with AS are a high-risk group for infection with the virus.
The post-COVID-19 care of these patients face challenges that affect patients, health systems, personnel and providers: