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COVID-19 Complications: Registry Aims to Track Virus Impact on Heart | U.S. News Hospital Heroes

The intensive care unit remained fully operational, primarily to treat patients with the new virus, as well as those who needed emergent care. But that meant clinicians like Dr. James de Lemos, cardiologist, didn’t have much to do, since many of the non-COVID-19 procedures he performed, like echocardiograms and surgeries to put in heart stents, were postponed or canceled.

De Lemos and many of his colleagues were frustrated; they wanted to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but felt sidelined. “We sort of felt powerless, working a lot from home during this terrible public health challenge,” de Lemos says.

Determined to take on the COVID crisis in some way, de Lemos, his colleagues and the cardiovascular fellows they work with brainstormed a way to join the battle: They launched a registry to collect comprehensive data on COVID-19 patients in the Dallas area. The registry also includes detailed information on how the virus attacks the heart of some patients.

UT Southwestern is a teaching hospital. De Lemos is a professor of medicine in the hospital’s cardiology division. He’s also a former director of the hospital’s cardiovascular fellowship program, and remains involved in the initiative.

The purpose of the registry is to help clinicians determine which therapies are most effective in treating COVID-19, based on the collected data. In November, de Lemos and his colleagues are scheduled to present some of their findings at a virtual meeting of the American Heart Association. The research is on race and ethnic differences in COVID-19 presentation and the impact of obesity in the severity of the illness. The findings of the studies are embargoed until then.

Within a few weeks of launching the local effort, de Lemos and his colleague, Dr. Sandeep Das, pitched the AHA on the idea of expanding the registry, taking it nationwide. The AHA quickly agreed. To date, de Lemos and his colleagues have collected data on about 15,000 COVID-19 patients from more than 100 hospitals in 35 states.

Texas is one of the states that’s been hit the hardest by the pandemic. As of Oct. 1, it had recorded more than 700,000 novel coronavirus cases, second only to California.

A registry is an observational study that tracks patients with a particular condition and collects detailed information about who they are – their age, gender, race and ethnic background – and how they respond to different treatments. De Lemos and his colleagues collect these data points – which have been de-identified so patients can remain anonymous – from participating hospitals. Patients do not have to opt in to participate in the research, and are not asked to.

Creating a registry is particularly important when clinicians are seeking to develop therapies to treat a new illness, like COVID-19, de Lemos says. Researchers use detailed hospital records to learn how patients responded to different treatments.

In the early days of the pandemic, it was widely believed that COVID-19 was a disease of the lungs; the vast majority of

The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign

The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The National Press Club announced at a recent news conference that The Washington Post would serve as an official media partner for the Club’s Help The Heroes campaign, a program designed to help front line medical workers at Howard University Hospital and feed the fight against COVID-19 by providing hospital staff with nutritious take-home meals.

The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign
The Washington Post to serve as media partner for National Press Club’s Help The Heroes campaign

The Washington Post has pledged to contribute advertising support for the campaign, including a full-page ad that ran in today’s newspaper.

“Help The Heroes is all about neighbors helping neighbors in this time of need,” said National Press Club President Michael Freedman. “So we are grateful and honored to have the backing and support of The Washington Post – one of the most respected newspapers in the country and a pillar of the DC community.”

According to a recent article in The Washington Post, hospitals are preparing for a nightmare scenario this fall when flu patients and COVID-19 patients may swamp hospital wards. There is appropriate concern that this will exhaust the staff. “I worry the most about the ability of the workforce to step into the ring again. Adrenaline can only take you so far,” said Dr. Brandan Carr of Mount Sinai Hospital. 

Help The Heroes is funded by donations from corporations, foundations and non-profits. Donations for Help The Heroes go to the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s affiliated 501c-3. To learn more about Help The Heroes or to make a contribution, please visit: http://www.press.org/hth 

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is The World’s Leading Professional Organization for Journalists with more than 3,000 members. The Club speaks out on press freedom issues and annually recognizes journalists at risk at home and abroad with the John Aubuchon Award for Press Freedom.

PRESS CONTACT: Lindsay Underwood for the National Press Club; lunderwood@press.org

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NATIONAL PRESS CLUB LOGO. (PRNewsFoto/NATIONAL PRESS CLUB) (PRNewsfoto/National Press Club)
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