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The care of patients with Duchenne, Becker, and other muscular dystrophies in the COVID-19 pandemic

Veerapandiyan, A.; Wagner, K. R.; Apkon, S.; McDonald, C. M.; Mathews, K. D.; Parsons, J. A.; Wong, B. L.; Eichinger, K.; Shieh, P. B.; Butterfield, R. J.; Rao, V. K.; Smith, E. C.; Proud, C. M.; Connolly, A. M.; Ciafaloni, E.

Muscle Nerve. 2020 Apr 25; 62(1):41-45

Abstract

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in the reorganization of health-care settings affecting clinical care delivery to patients with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DBMD) as well as other inherited muscular dystrophies. The magnitude of the impact of this public health emergency on the care of patients with DBMD is unclear as they are suspected of having an increased risk for severe manifestations of COVID-19. In this article, the authors discuss their consensus recommendations pertaining to care of these patients during the pandemic. We address issues surrounding corticosteroid and exon-skipping treatments, cardiac medications, hydroxychloroquine use, emergency/respiratory care, rehabilitation management, and the conduct of clinical trials. We highlight the importance of collaborative treatment decisions between the patient, family, and health-care provider, considering any geographic or institution-specific policies and precautions for COVID-19. We advocate for continuing multidisciplinary care for these patients using telehealth.

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