People living with moderate or severe heart valve disease are at increased risk of complications if affected by COVID-19. Those at greatest risk are individuals with severe disease, significant ongoing symptoms or awaiting valve surgery.
It is important to remember that hospitals will continue to treat heart patients, but the current pressures may result in delays, cancellations of appointments and disruption of services.
This advice is based on information from the Heart Valve Disease Patient Council of the Global Heart Hub. Croí is a member of the Global Heart Hub.
What should I do if I am due to have heart valve surgery or have a heart valve procedure?
If you are due to have surgery you should continue to prepare for it unless told otherwise by your clinician. If your surgery is rescheduled for a later date you should monitor your symptoms closely. If your symptoms get worse and you begin to feel unwell you should report this to your GP, call your hospital medical team or in severe cases, call the emergency services.
What should I do if I have recently had heart valve surgery or a heart valve procedure?
Patients who have recently had a procedure have an increased risk of infections due to cuts/incisions which may be exposed to germs. The normal risk of infection for heart valve disease patients is low, but in the current situation you should take every extra measure to limit your risk of infection. If you do begin to feel unwell you should contact your hospital medical team or call the emergency services.
How do I reduce my risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As you are at higher risk of a more serious illness if you contract coronavirus you are being advised to stay at home as much as possible and to limit your social contact.
We strongly urge you to take extra care in ensuring you follow all of the recommended precautions.
You need to be extra vigilant, be aware of your symptoms and take the recommended precautionary measures by physically distancing.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
For further information on COVID-19 virus and symptoms see Croí’s advice here.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and feel you need medical help, you should follow the guidelines issued by your health authority on how best to seek medical help.
Any heart valve patient with progressive or new onset symptoms, particularly syncope (fainting, ‘passing out’ or collapse) should contact their doctor immediately.
See Croí’s health page for more information on heart valve disease.
The Croí Health Team is here as always if you need support. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 091-544310.