Introduction: The COVID-19 outbreak highly impacted the acute ischemic stroke care management. The primary end point of the study was to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the following lockdown measures on our hub-and-spoke network; the secondary end point was to evaluate if the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak was different in hub-and-spoke centers. Methods: This was a retrospective multicenter observational study conducted at the Stroke Units of Policlinico Gemelli, Ospedale San Filippo Neri, Ospedale di Belcolle, and Ospedale San Camillo de Lellis. We collected clinical reports of all consecutive patients admitted with diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) during the phase 1 of the lockdown period (11 March 2020–4 May 2020). As controls, we used all consecutive patients admitted for acute ischemic stroke or TIA in the same period of the previous year. Results: A total of 156 and 142 clinical reports were collected in 2019 and 2020, respectively. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we observed a reduction of number of thrombolysis, a reduction of the length of hospitalization, and an increase of pneumonia. Regarding performance indicators, we observed an increase in onset-to-door time and in door-to-groin time. We did not observe any statistically significant interaction between year (2019 vs 2020) and facility of admission (hub vs spoke) on all variables analyzed. Discussion: Our observational study, involving hub-and-spoke stroke network of a wide regional area, indicates that the COVID-19 outbreak impacted on the acute stroke management. This impact was equally observed in hub as well as in spoke centers.
- Cerebrovascular disease