What Is Needed to Make Interventional Radiology Ready for COVID-19? Lessons from SARS-CoV Epidemic
Pua U et al. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore
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Dear Editor, We read with interest an article on novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recently published in the journal by Lin et al.. In this letter, we hope to provide some insights from an interventional radiologist (IR) perspective and provide relevant references to better help IR prepare for what is ahead while COVID-19 outbreak is evolving. In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause appeared in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. This was later found to be caused by a COVID-19 (previously provisionally named 2019-nCoV and SAR-CoV 2), and within two months declared as a public health emergency of international concern. At the time of writing, it has affected more than 80000 patients globally in 33 countries.. While thought to be less pathogenic, it has recorded more than 2600 deaths, surpassing the death toll of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) epidemic. During the initial stage, Singapore recorded one of the highest number of infections outside of China, reminiscence of the SARS-CoV epidemic 17 years ago . Our institution is co-located with the National Center for Infectious Disease (NCID, previously Communicable Disease Center), and provides IR services to the center. In 2003, we were the designated SARS hospital and currently, the main hospital handling the COVID-19 cases for Singapore. In 2003, the authors were deployed to perform IR as well as critical care procedures in critically ill SARS-CoV patients, and today, providing IR support to the COVID-19 patients. The IR experience with SARS-CoV was first described 17 year ago...