The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH). With social distancing measures becoming the new norm, safety concerns have made it difficult for PH patients to access routine care, leaving many without sufficient care and support. Health care providers in particular have had to adjust their practices to minimize the risk of infection.
One issue is that many PH patients rely on regular doctor’s visits to manage their condition. Prior to the pandemic, PH patients and their care teams typically met in person for medical appointments, to evaluate and adjust treatments, and to review medical tests. However, due to the risk of infection, many health care providers have switched to telemedicine visits. While these virtual appointments can be beneficial for some, many PH patients prefer to see their doctors in person.
In addition to limited doctor’s visits, many PH patients are unable to access the medications, treatments, and other services they need to manage their condition. The disruption in medical supply chains, caused by the pandemic, has made it difficult for pharmacies to keep necessary medications in stock. This has caused delays in treatment and could lead to adverse effects if medications are not taken as prescribed.
Finally, the pandemic has caused a disruption in the support networks of PH patients. With social distancing measures in place, it has become difficult for PH patients to interact with their family, friends, and support groups. This lack of support can be a major issue for PH patients, as they often rely on these networks to cope with their condition and stay motivated to maintain their treatment plans.
The pandemic has had a major impact on how PH patients receive care and treatment. Health care providers have had to adjust their practices to minimize the risk of infection and many PH patients have been unable to access the medications, treatments, and support networks they need. It is essential that health care providers and PH patients continue to work together to optimize care and keep PH patients safe during this challenging time.