PRESIDENTS MESSAGE

PCICS & the impact of COVID-19

John M. Costello, MD, MPH
President, PCICS
Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics
Director of Research, Children’s Heart Center
Professor of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina

John M. Costello, MD, MPH

Dear Colleagues,
All of our professional and personal lives have been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the deluge of information coming from our hospitals, governments, other societies, and the media, your PCICS leaders have intentionally been very judicious in terms of sending additional communications to our members and adding to the noise.  That being said, I do want to share with you the steps that PCICS has taken thus far to help our members confront this unprecedented healthcare challenge. 
On March 19, we launched a new COVID-19 message board through our new Basecamp software to allow PCICS members to easily communicate about issues that may directly impact the care we provide for critically ill cardiac patients. Members have been actively exchanging information on this platform about many in COVID-19 topics, including PPE, impact on CICU staffing models, ACE inhibitors, delaying elective procedures, and the initial pediatric experience with this virus.  Please see the email sent to all PCICS members on March 19 for more details. If you are interested in joining this message board, please email Lee Claassen, PCICS Executive Director, at lee@pcics.org.

On March 18, we initiated discussions with Dr. Chris Mastropietro and the other members of the Collaborative for Research in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society (CoRe-PCICS) leadership team about conducting and rapidly disseminating initial observational studies of infants and children with congenital and acquired heart disease who are infected with COVID-19. An initial query of investigators at CoRe-PCICS centers did not identify any cases, but this may change as testing becomes more widely available and the virus continues to spread.  PCICS leaders have also participated in similar discussions with other organizations including the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium (PC4) and the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN).  While we all hope that this virus will spare our young fragile cardiac patients, should they be impacted, we will share initial data with our members as quickly as possible.

Finally, we have considered the possibility that ongoing COVID-19 disease activity and the related fallout could have an impact on our 16th Annual PCICS International Meeting, which is currently scheduled for December 10-13th in Miami Beach, Florida.  It is obviously too early to know what the status will be in December, but we have begun considering several contingency plans in the event that changes are ultimately required.

Please reach out to Lee Claassen or any of the Board members or Committee Co-chairs with ideas regarding additional steps that PCICS could consider to help our members address the COVID-19 challenge.

Most importantly, on behalf of the Board of Directors and our colleagues at IMI Association Executives, I want to extend my sincere thoughts and prayers that you, your colleagues, and your family and friends will safely navigate this pandemic.  I am confident that as clinicians who care for some of the most complicated patients in all of healthcare on a daily basis, each of you will rise to the challenge. We will all learn from this experience and be stronger and better because of it.

Best regards,
John M. Costello, M.D., M.P.H.
President, PCICS
Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Department of Pediatrics
Director of Research, Children’s Heart Center
Professor of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina
e-mail: costello@musc.edu

 

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