People with multiple blockages in their heart arteries may need open heart surgery and bypass surgery. For the surgery to remain successful, patients need to take certain types of medicines long-term after their operation.
Even before Covid-19 we had insufficient information on how many patients receive and keep taking these medicines. Emerging research has suggested that some cardiovascular medications may increase the risk or severity of Covid-19 infection; others may protect against Covid-19. However, data is limited, and dis-information is rampant. The use of these medications may have changed as a result of the pandemic. The aim of our study is to observe what proportion of patients were prescribed and received the guideline-advised medications after cardiac surgery before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our project will help to identify if there has been a change in the use of appropriate medications because of the pandemic. This is very important as being on appropriate medications can help patients feel well and remain protected from heart attacks, stroke and other adverse events.
Our study will identify if prescribing of life-saving medications for patients with heart disease has changed over the years before and during the course of the pandemic. Obtaining this information is the first step towards developing solutions to counter any adverse change.
Policy makers in the NHS can use our information to develop recommend sharing of key messages and information with patients and to guide targeted educational programmes for general practitioners on appropriate prescribing for patients with heart disease.