NSLHD Year in Review 2020

Matthew Gray and Professor Ravinay Bhindi

RNSH drives national COVID-19 study

Formany peoplewith heart disease there’s an increased level of anxiety around the implications of COVID-19, but it’s hoped a new study led by Royal North Shore Hospital will guide future treatment and improve health outcomes.

Head of Cardiology Professor Ravinay Bhindi has launched the AUS-COVID-19 study, which will involve more than 800 patients in over 20 hospitals across Australia. The Kolling Institute researcher said the study aims to provide clinicians and health services with the valuable information they need to lower complications for COVID-19 patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease. “There is a lot we just don’t know about COVID-19, although there is some early data from China and Europe suggesting that cardiac patients are particularly vulnerable,” Ravinay said. “This leads to increased anxiety for patients and it means general practitioners and clinicians are not thoroughly informed about the implications for this group of patients.

Matthew Gray, who was diagnosed with heart disease two years ago has welcomed the research. “It’s a timely, landmark study which will help fill the gaps in knowledge, and assist GPs and clinicians to better manage people with heart disease who develop Covid,” he said. “As a result of the study, there will be reliable information which will directly help me mange my health.” Researchers from hospitals across Australia have been quick to become involved, demonstrating the urgent need for information about the implications of COVID-19. The AUS-COVID-19 study is receiving financial support from the Northern Sydney Local Health District and the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation.

“The study will provide timely advice to help clinicians allocate resources and identify patients most likely to deteriorate and therefore require a higher level of care. “It will also help identify the patients unlikely to deteriorate, who can be safely discharged. “Importantly, the AUS-COVID-19 study will provide information on the safety of continuing common cardiac medications for patients with COVID-19. “This is a really important national study which we believe will assist the large numbers of people with cardiovascular disease in Australia.”


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