Heart

Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, Heart and Stroke Patients Go Missing

Bishnu Virachan was a bicycle deliveryman for a grocery store in Queens. With New York City locked down, he was busier than ever.

But in early April, as he was watching television, he felt “a pain in my heart.” It frightened him, but he did not go to the emergency room. Mr. Virachan, 43, was even more afraid of that.

“What can I do? What can I do?” he asked. “Everywhere, the coronavirus.”

After a few days, pain overrode fear and he went to Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. Doctors discovered a nearly complete blockage of his left main coronary artery.

A surgeon opened the artery, but Mr. Virachan was left with a weakened heart. Had he waited much longer, doctors said, he would have died.

Fear of the coronavirus is leading people with life-threatening emergencies, like a heart attack or stroke, to stay home when ordinarily they would have

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F.D.A. Warns of Heart Problems From Malaria Drugs Used for Coronavirus

The drugs can cause dangerous abnormalities in heart rhythm in coronavirus patients, and should be used only in clinical trials or hospitals where patients can be closely monitored for heart problems, the Food and Drug Administration warned in a safety communication issued on Friday.

Several medical societies, including the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Cardiology, have warned of the risks of using malaria drugs with azithromycin to treat patients with Covid-19 outside of a clinical trial or without close monitoring.

“The F.D.A. is aware of reports of serious heart rhythm problems in patients with Covid-19

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Small Chloroquine Study Halted Over Risk of Fatal Heart Complications

A small study in Brazil was halted early for safety reasons after coronavirus patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine developed irregular heart rates that increased their risk of a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia.

Chloroquine is closely related to the more widely used drug hydroxychloroquine. President Trump has enthusiastically promoted them as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus despite little evidence that they work, and despite concerns from some of his top health officials. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval to allow hospitals to use chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine from the national stockpile if clinical trials were not feasible. Companies that manufacture both drugs are ramping up production.

The Brazilian study involved 81 hospitalized patients in the city of Manaus and was sponsored by the Brazilian state of Amazonas. It was posted on Saturday at medRxiv, an online server for medical articles, before undergoing peer review

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