March 23, 2020 — As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19, SARS-cov-2) continues to spread, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) has decided to cancel its annual meeting scheduled for May 13-16. As virus numbers continue to rise rapidly in both Europe and the U.S., it is widely expected other cardiology conferences scheduled for May 2020 will soon follow suit.
"As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, SCAI is committed to ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our members, healthcare teams, and the patients they treat. With the immediate future uncertain, we have cancelled SCAI 2020 Scientific Sessions," explained SCAI President Ehtisham Mahmud, M.D., FSCAI, professor and division chief, cardiovascular medicine, University of California, San Diego.
Also, as of today, SCAI has closed its Washington, D.C., office to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus and to contribute to flattening the epidemic curve. However, the staff is transitioning to home offices for the duration, so there should not be any disruption in service.
Mahmud said SCAI will provide virtual content in various formats that can be accessed online via an on-demand platform or via live broadcast. These plans are currently in development.
For attendees who already registered for SCAI 2020 Scientific Sessions, SCAI will provide a full refund. Contact SCAI at [email protected]
"This past week, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to wreak havoc in our nation and the world. I want to express solidarity with our colleagues who are on the front lines, addressing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Physicians, nurses and allied health care professionals in the emergency departments, intensive care units and inpatient wards are dealing directly with the sickest patients and are, in turn, greatly exposed. We in the interventional and invasive cardiology world are immensely grateful for their efforts and are here to offer support and help," Mahmud said.
SCAI Launches a COVID-19 Resource Center
The society also said it is launching COVID-19 Resource Center relevant to invasive and interventional cardiovascular medicine on the SCAI Website on March 24, 2020. Mahmud said SCAI will provide updated information regarding the practice and safety measures required for interventional practice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mahmud appointed Timothy D. Henry, M.D., MSCAI, medical director, Carl and Edyth Lindner Center for Research and Education at Christ Hospital, Cincinnati, and SCAI vice president to oversee the SCAI Research Taskforce pertaining to COVID-19 and its effects on cardiovascular outcomes. He has assembled a group of experts and details be shared shortly, Mahmud said.
"We are making every effort to investigate the cardiovascular effects of COVID-19 and bring updated information to our members as it becomes available from around the country," Mahmud explained.
Watch the VIDEO: Cancelling Non-essential Cardiac Procedures During the COVID-19 Outbreak, an interview with Ehtisham Mahmud, M.D., from March 19.
Related Cardiology Related COVID-19 Content:
VIDEO: What Cardiologists Need to Know about COVID-19 — Interview with Thomas Maddox, M.D.