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Spinal muscular atrophy care in the COVID-19 pandemic era

Veerapandiyan, A.; Connolly, A. M.; Finkel, R. S.; Arya, K.; Mathews, K. D.; Smith, E. C.; Castro, D.; Butterfield, R. J.; Parsons, J. A.; Servais, L.; Kuntz, N.; Rao, V. K.; Brandsema, J. F.; Mercuri, E.; Ciafaloni, E.

Muscle Nerve. 2020 Apr 25; 62(1):46-49

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in reorganization of healthcare settings affecting the delivery of clinical care to patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). There is a concern that patients with SMA may be at increased risk of manifesting severe symptoms of COVID-19. Currently approved therapies for SMA improve survival and motor function; however, their delivery requires an increased exposure to the health system and a dedicated healthcare team. In this study, we discuss consensus recommendations pertaining to care of SMA patients during the pandemic. We highlight that SMA treatments should not be perceived as elective. Decisions regarding the delay of treatments should be made with consideration of the potential risks of COVID-19 exposure and the risk of that delay. We emphasize the importance of collaborative treatment decisions between the patient, family, and healthcare provider, considering any geographic- or institution-specific policies and precautions for COVID-19.

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