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Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service patients

Current guidance in relation to coronavirus and how it may relate to you

The following information only relates to your heart condition – not any other conditions you may have.

Whilst it is expected that many people will catch the virus over the course of the coming weeks and months, the risk of becoming seriously unwell as a result is low, particularly for children and young adults. However, as this virus is new, we do not yet know whether patients with an underlying congenital heart condition will be at any increased risk from the virus.

If you display worsening symptoms of COVID-19 or if you are worried you might have been in contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus: call NHS 24 on 111 and tell them that you have had a transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medication.

You should continue your usual medications unless told otherwise by a health professional. If you are admitted to hospital, please ensure the SNAHFS team is informed.

Advice for patients who have had a heart transplant

Transplant recipients are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as they take immunosuppression medication, which makes it difficult for their bodies to fight the virus.

Patients who have had a transplant should adopt shielding measures for at least 12 weeks - this means taking all measures possible to avoid catching coronavirus, and avoiding any face-to-face contact.

Transplant units are assessing the risk and benefits for reviewing each patient face-to-face in the clinic. If you have an upcoming appointment, we will contact you.

Advice for patients who are on the waiting list for a heart transplant

Almost all people on a transplant waiting list will still be at increased risk due to their medical condition but do not need to follow shielding advice.

Patients should follow the national advice being given to those who are over 70 years old, pregnant or with a medical condition making them eligible for the flu jab.

Ibuprofen

The government’s advice on the use of ibuprofen to treat symptoms of coronavirus infection is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ibuprofen-use-and-covid19coronavirus

ACE inhibitors (end in -pril) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (end in -sartan)

Many patients with congenital heart disease or heart failure may be on ACE inhibitors (e.g. captopril, lisinopril, enalapril) or angiotensin receptor II antagonists (e.g. losartan).

The British Cardiovascular Society, British Society for Heart Failure and European Society of Cardiology Council on Hypertension have said that there is no clinical or scientific evidence to suggest that treatment with an ACE inhibitor should be discontinued because of COVID-19.

Stopping these medications may cause worsening of your heart condition.

Where you can get more information

NHS Inform has advice and guidance on social distancingself-isolation and shielding as well as information to support your mental wellbeing:

www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

If you are having a non COVID-19 medical emergency, dial 999.