• March 16th, 2020

Coronavirus Advice - Update 16/03/2020

In light of the coronavirus pandemic we are regularly reviewing how we work in the Paediatric Cardiology and Adult Congenital Heart Disease services in Leeds.
Will update this advice as the situation develops.

While it is expected that a very large number of people will catch the virus over the next few weeks to months, the risk of becoming unwell as a result is low, particularly for children and younger adults. We do not yet know whether patients with an underlying congenital heart condition will be at any greater risk from the virus.

If you or your child think you may have coronarvirus

It is important to follow the national guidance on self-isolation if you or your child have symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

This states that you are advised to stay at home (self-isolate) if you have either

1) a new continuous cough or

2) a high temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher), but that there is no need to get tested for the virus.

If symptoms are serious, and cannot be managed, visit NHS 111 online (but only call NHS111 if you cannot get online).

If your child is admitted to hospital contact the Children’s Cardiac Nurse Specialists ( 0113 392 5467, ccns.lgi@nhs.net) or

If you are admitted contact the Adult Congenital Heart Disease nurse specialists (0113 392 8154, leedsth-tr.achdnurse@nhs.net).

Outpatient clinics

Currently, routine outpatient clinics, in both Leeds General Infirmary and those that we do in regional hospitals are continuing.

Although we do not know if patients with underlying congenital heart disease are at any greater risk from the virus compared to the general population, we have decided to take a precautionary approach for those who may be at greater risk, such as those with more complicated heart conditions or heart failure. Consultants will identify these patients, and may change appointments to telephone or video consultations to reduce the need to travel to hospital. We will be in touch if this applies to you, otherwise please attend in person.

If you or your child are well but have other symptoms consistent with a viral infection, such as a runny nose, it will likely be sensible to delay and rebook a clinic appointment. Please contact our clinic clerks on 0113 392 2619.

Planned operations and catheter procedures

We will call all patients the morning of the day before any planned operation or catheter procedure to enquire as to whether the patient or household contacts have any symptoms that might mean we should reschedule.

Advice to on whether or not to self-isolate in the absence of symptoms

The majority of patients with congenital heart disease are very unlikely to be at any greater risk from coronavirus than the general population (for example because their condition is relatively mild or the heart functions well even if there are ongoing issues). For such patients there is no additional need to self-isolate in the absence of symptoms.

For patients with more severe underlying heart problems we are not currently recommending self-isolation as a measure to prevent catching the virus. For example, we are not currently routinely recommending that children stay away from school or that adults stay away from work.

Nevertheless, it seems sensible to try to reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus. Examples include, where possible, working from home, avoiding crowded public areas (including public transport).

It is important to follow the national guidance