Monitoring seniors with polyvascular diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic
Dostálová K.1, Kukučková L.2, Ponošová D.2, Horváthová E.1, Moricová Š.1
1Faculty of Public Health, Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia
2Academician Derer Hospital, University Hospital, Bratislava, Slovakia
The covid-19 pandemic demanded social distance measures due to the high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2. The fear of contracting the virus has removed seniors from health services, affecting the medical monitoring of comorbidities such as vascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. The senior population is part of the risk group for the development of the severe form of covid-19.
The fear of contracting covid-19 in health services decreased the demand for assistance to this population, who have chronic diseases that need strict monitoring. Consequently, there is a signiﬁcant increase in mortality at home, related to cardiovascular diseases and neoplasms. In Slovakia, telemedicine has been used as an alternative to maintain the monitoring of these seniors, usually by phone calls, and heath care system provides long-term drugs via electronic recipes.
However, the alternative is limited to those who are not significantly limited in telephone communication for sensory or cognitive disabilities. Home visits and telemonitoring are possible alternatives in times of pandemic, however, these strategies are not used by angiologists in Slovakia.
Conclusion: Angiologists need to be more vigilant in monitoring seniors who are non-infected with covid-19 but are at risk of significant worsening of the disease with its serious medical and social consequences due to the nature of their vascular disease as well as their social background.
Due to the not yet clear date for ending the pandemic, it is necessary to work closely with general practitioners on a form of patient monitoring as well as on the management of acute conditions and critical exacerbations of chronic vascular diseases.