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WASHINGTON (Mar 09, 2020) -
The American College of Cardiology has made the difficult and unprecedented decision to cancel the ACC's Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC) scheduled to take place March 28-30, 2020 in Chicago.
The decision to cancel ACC's flagship annual event was not taken lightly. The College has been closely monitoring updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local governments. In the last week, the College also learned of the increasing number of travel advisories and restrictions being placed on health care providers and hospitals and institutions in the U.S. and globally.
"The health, safety and well-being of our members, staff, exhibitors, faculty and other stakeholders is of paramount importance," said ACC President Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC. "With an ever-increasing number of ACC members on the front lines of preparing and reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is in the best interest of everyone to cancel the meeting and ensure our members are able to do what they do best – help and heal."
Please note the following important points for registered media:
- ACC.20/WCC media registrations remain valid and will grant registered media access to the virtual presentation options that will be announced in the coming days.
- More information on web-based press conferences scheduled for March 11 and March 17 will be distributed along with information on virtual content.
- Existing embargoes and plans for simultaneous publications remain in place and are subject to the existing embargo policies.
- ACC has prepared an initial FAQ document to help with answering travel, refund and other questions for attendees. This document will continue to be updated.
A meeting the size of ACC.20/WCC is years in the making and involves hundreds of member volunteers and staff, as well as generous support from partners and stakeholders and close collaboration with our host city. The ACC would like to recognize all of these individuals, particularly ACC.20/WCC Chair Andrew Kates, MD, FACC, and Vice-Chair Pamela Morris, MD, FACC, as well as World Heart Federation President Karen Sliwa, MD, Phd, FACC, WHF President-Elect Fausto Pinto, MD ,FACC, and WHF CEO Jean Luc Eisele and his team, for all of their work.
Preparing for COVID-19
The College is fully committed to helping all health professionals who treat cardiovascular patients prepare for COVID-19. ACC has issued and updated the clinical bulletin addressing the cardiac implications of the novel Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19). The original clinical bulletin was issued in February.
The updated resource, COVID-19 Clinical Guidance for the Cardiovascular Care Team, provides an overview of COVID-19 and outlines what's currently known from the published literature about the acute cardiac complication of COVID-19 and its implications for patients with underlying cardiovascular conditions. It also includes clinical guidance given current COVID-19 uncertainty, as well as recommendations for cardiac-specific preparedness.
Among the recommendations:
- Make plans for quickly identifying and isolating cardiovascular patients with COVID-19 symptoms from other patients, including in the ambulatory setting
- It is reasonable to advise all cardiovascular patients of the potential increased risk and to encourage additional, reasonable precautions in accordance with CDC guidance
- It is important for patients with CVD to remain current with vaccinations, including the pneumococcal vaccine given the increased risk of secondary bacterial infection with COVID-19; CVD patients should be vaccinated against influenza in accordance with current ACC/AHA guidelines
- In geographies with active COVID-19 outbreaks, it may be reasonable to substitute telephonic or telehealth visits for in-person routine visits for stable CVD patients to avoid possible nosocomial COVID-19 infection; planning for emergency telehealth protocols should begin now
- For patients with heart failure or volume overload conditions, copious fluid administration for viral infection should be used cautiously and carefully monitored
- General immunological health remains important for both providers and patients, including eating well, sleeping and managing stress
The American College of Cardiology envisions a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes. As the professional home for the entire cardiovascular care team, the mission of the College and its 54,000 members is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The ACC bestows credentials upon cardiovascular professionals who meet stringent qualifications and leads in the formation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The College also provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research through its world-renowned JACC Journals, operates national registries to measure and improve care, and offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions. For more, visit acc.org.