Wading through the dangers of COVID-19…

Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy

Dear colleagues

Welcome to the Volume12/Issue-6 of the Journal of Atrial Fibrillation. The Journal extends its heartfelt sympathies to many unsung healthcare heroes who lost their lives while saving the lives of many others who were affected by COVID-19. As the world slowly tries to unlock itself from the COVID-19 isolation and tries to establish a reasonable sense of normalcy, the second wave looms at our doorstep as a cruel reminder. We learnt so many things from this unprecedented global pandemic. The entire humanity had to relearn how it conducted business on many fronts. Online meeting platforms have become integral part of our professional and personal lives. On a personal level this hiatus in my life gave a better perspective to the things that used to miss on the personal front. Evening dinners and the weekend togethers with family which typically got shorted by many meetings and travel, were back on the calendar giving me more family time. I am sure it was the same for all of you.

Electrophysiology services rebooting has been a slow but definite process. The Tri-society document on EP reboot has been timely in navigating this process. Building patient confidence while maintaining highest level of safety through aggressive testing and appropriate isolation of positive cases should continue for this process to be successful. Many continued medical education programs have been cancelled and many more are in the process. Our reliance on online learning tools has significantly increased and will continue so.

We lost three important people in electrophysiology this past few weeks – Hein JJ Wellens, Jiang Ming Li and Eduardo Sosa. Hein JJ Wellens, the pioneer in Cardiac Electrophysiology lost his battle to cancer in the Netherlands. Many building blocks of knowledge that helped EP evolve to be the most robust sub-specialty of cardiology were laid down by him. A person who touched many lives with kindness, friendship and played the role of a true global ambassador for Heart Rhythm Society was Jiang Ming Li who lost his life to sudden cardiac arrest. Eduardo Sosa in San Paulo quietly explored the fifth chamber of the heart, the pericardial space in his pursuit of solving the Chagasic Ventricular Arrhythmia. He taught the world how to enter and explore the pericardial space when there is no fluid. Subsequently this work inspired us to use a long micropuncture needle to minimize access related complications. Their contributions to the EP world were different and yet impactful in so many ways. I personally crossed paths with all of these three amazing individuals on several occasions and they will be remembered fondly. We should pause for a moment and appreciate our colleagues who are shaping the field in many ways. If you have not done it already, in the next four weeks take time to thank ten colleagues of yours for what they do everyday to keep our work move forwards.

In the current issue of the journal we have many excellent papers ranging from the role of yoga in heart failure patients through the use of high definition mapping in atrial fibrillation ablation. I once again thank all the editorial team members and the reviewers for their contributions to the continued success of JAFIB. I also dedicate this issue to all the health care workers around the world who are working in the frontlines of our continued battle against COVID-19.


Dhanunjaya (DJ)Lakkireddy MD, FACC, FHRS Editor-in-Chief JAFIB