The novel COVID-19 pandemic has imposed unprecedented restrictions on healthcare services worldwide. In developing nations such as Jordan, appreciable impacts on healthcare delivery ensued owing to limited resources. As a result, managing chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) has been modified to accommodate altercations in the system. This study assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on managing patients with critical limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) during the lockdown.
Objectives were accomplished by retrieving records of clinical data and perioperative results for patients diagnosed with CLTI at King Abdullah University Hospital between March 17 and June 1, 2020. Patients’ demographics, Rutherford classification, type of intervention, and intervention variables during the outbreak were retrospectively analyzed (pandemic Group A) and compared with patients from the same period last year (control Group B).
A total of 96 patients with CLTI were included in the study; Groups A and B consisted of 28 and 68 patients, respectively. The mean ages for Groups A and B were 62.8 and 60.2 years, respectively. Conservative management was applied to 53.6% (P < 0.01) of Group A patients, whereas endovascular revascularization was the primary approach in Group B (39.7%, P < 0.01). After the intervention, the majority of patients in Group A were classified as category six on the Rutherford classification system (46.4%, P < 0.01), whereas the majority in group B were classified as category five (55.9%, P < 0.01).
The more unsatisfactory outcome of CLTI during the pandemic entails substantial measures to ensure conscientious virtual encounters and ambulatory community-based services during current and future pandemics. The endovascular-first policy should be endorsed in future pandemics as it is better at reducing aerosol transmission than standard surgical intervention. Moreover, endovascular procedures are minimally invasive and associated with favorable outcomes when medical optimization and hospital beds are limited.