Objectives: Vascular Emergency Clinics (VEC) improve patient outcomes in chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI). They provide a “one stop” open access policy, whereby “suspicion of CLTI” by a healthcare professional or patient leads to a direct review. We assessed the resilience of the outpatient VEC model to the first year of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Methods: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database of all patients assessed in our VEC for lower limb pathologies between March 2020 and April 2021 was performed. This was cross referenced to national and loco-regional Governmental COVID-19 data. Individuals with CLTI were further analysed to determine PAD-QIF (Peripheral Arterial Disease – Quality Improvement Framework) compliance. Results: Seven hundred and ninety-one patients attended for 1084 assessments (Male n = 484, 61%; Age 72.5 ± SD 12.2 years; White British n = 645, 81.7%). In total, 322 patients were diagnosed with CLTI (40.7%). A total of 188 individuals (58.6%) underwent a first revascularisation strategy (Endovascular n=128, 39.8%; Hybrid n=41, 12.7%; Open surgery n=19; 5.9%; Conservative n=134; 41.6%). Major lower limb amputation rate was 10.9% (n=35) and mortality rate was 25.8% (n=83) at 12 months follow up. Median referral to assessment time was 3 days (IQR 1-5). For the non-admitted patient with CLTI, the median assessment to intervention was eight days (IQR 6-15) and median referral to intervention time of 11 days (11-18). Conclusions: The VEC model has demonstrated strong resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic with rapid treatment timelines maintained for patients with CLTI.

Fuente: Annals of Vascular Surgery
Available online 5 April 2023