Letter from ESC to NCS Presidents 2.04.2020


Dear National Cardiac Society Presidents,
Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The current situation forces all of us to adapt to new challenges and work differently. Yet, we still need to maintain our focus on the evidence-based practice of cardiovascular medicine and stay engaged professionally and politically for the interest of our patients.

The COVID-19 crisis has led to reorganisation of clinical services and has sent a strong message to the population that they should stay home and away from the hospital as much as possible.

On first reaction, this is understandable; however, it is increasingly clear that this advice is having serious unintended consequences. Most cardiac centres around Europe have noticed a significant reduction as well as a delay in the admission of patients with acute coronary syndromes. Cardiac surgery and other procedures have also been significantly curtailed. Together, this will lead to a significant increase in preventable death and disability. The fact that these deaths are not counted and reported by the media every day does not make them less real.

We are asking you to increase awareness of these important issues within your society and work with your country’s media outlets to alert patients that a heart attack is no less of an emergency than COVID-19 and that, unlike for COVID-19, we know how to manage this emergency rapidly and effectively.

We have a duty to continue to save the lives we know how to save.

With best regards,

Barbara Casadei, FESC
ESC President

Stephan Achenbach, FESC
ESC President Elect

Franz Weidinger, FESC
ESC Vice President for National Cardiac Societies and Advocacy

Jose Luis Zamorano, FESC
ESC Vice President for National Cardiac Societies and Global Affairs