J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2020 Aug 11:S1053-0770(20)30807-7. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2020.08.013. Online ahead of print.
Coronavirus disease 2019, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, is now a global pandemic affecting more than 12 million patients across 188 countries. A significant proportion of these patients require admission to intensive care units for acute hypoxic respiratory failure and are at an increased risk of developing cardiac arrhythmias. The presence of underlying comorbidities, pathophysiologic changes imposed by the disease, and concomitant polypharmacy, increase the likelihood of life-threatening arrhythmias in these patients. Supraventricular, as well as ventricular arrhythmias, are common and are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It is important to understand the interplay of various causal factors while instituting strategies to mitigate the impact of modifiable risk factors. Furthermore, avoidance and early recognition of drug interactions, along with prompt treatment, might help improve outcomes in this vulnerable patient population.