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1.
ERJ Open Res ; 8(1)2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690978

ABSTRACT

Due to the large number of patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many were treated outside the traditional walls of the intensive care unit (ICU), and in many cases, by personnel who were not trained in critical care. The clinical characteristics and the relative impact of caring for severe COVID-19 patients outside the ICU is unknown. This was a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium World Health Organization COVID-19 platform. Severe COVID-19 patients were identified as those admitted to an ICU and/or those treated with one of the following treatments: invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, inotropes or vasopressors. A logistic generalised additive model was used to compare clinical outcomes among patients admitted or not to the ICU. A total of 40 440 patients from 43 countries and six continents were included in this analysis. Severe COVID-19 patients were frequently male (62.9%), older adults (median (interquartile range (IQR), 67 (55-78) years), and with at least one comorbidity (63.2%). The overall median (IQR) length of hospital stay was 10 (5-19) days and was longer in patients admitted to an ICU than in those who were cared for outside the ICU (12 (6-23) days versus 8 (4-15) days, p<0.0001). The 28-day fatality ratio was lower in ICU-admitted patients (30.7% (5797 out of 18 831) versus 39.0% (7532 out of 19 295), p<0.0001). Patients admitted to an ICU had a significantly lower probability of death than those who were not (adjusted OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.65-0.75; p<0.0001). Patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to an ICU had significantly lower 28-day fatality ratio than those cared for outside an ICU.

2.
ERJ open research ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1610380

ABSTRACT

Due to the large number of patients with severe COVID-19, many were treated outside of the traditional walls of the ICU, and in many cases, by personnel who were not trained in critical care. The clinical characteristics and the relative impact of caring for severe COVID-19 patients outside of the ICU is unknown. This was a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the ISARIC WHO COVID-19 platform. Severe COVID-19 patients were identified as those admitted to an ICU and/or those treated with one of the following treatments: invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, inotropes, and vasopressors. A logistic Generalised Additive Model was used to compare clinical outcomes among patients admitted and not to the ICU. A total of 40 440 patients from 43 countries and six continents were included in this analysis. Severe COVID-19 patients were frequently male (62.9%), older adults (median [IQR], 67 years [55, 78]), and with at least one comorbidity (63.2%). The overall median (IQR) length of hospital stay was 10 days (5–19) and was longer in patients admitted to an ICU than in those that were cared for outside of ICU (12 [6–23] versus 8 [4–15] days, p<0.0001). The 28-day fatality ratio was lower in ICU-admitted patients (30.7% [5797/18831] versus 39.0% [7532/19295], p<0.0001). Patients admitted to an ICU had a significantly lower probability of death than those who were not (adjusted OR:0.70, 95%CI: 0.65-0.75, p<0.0001). Patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to an ICU had significantly lower 28-day fatality ratio than those cared for outside of an ICU.

3.
Chest ; 161(2): 429-447, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401309

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After the publication of a 2014 consensus statement regarding mass critical care during public health emergencies, much has been learned about surge responses and the care of overwhelming numbers of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaps in prior pandemic planning were identified and require modification in the midst of severe ongoing surges throughout the world. RESEARCH QUESTION: A subcommittee from The Task Force for Mass Critical Care (TFMCC) investigated the most recent COVID-19 publications coupled with TFMCC members anecdotal experience in order to formulate operational strategies to optimize contingency level care, and prevent crisis care circumstances associated with increased mortality. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: TFMCC adopted a modified version of established rapid guideline methodologies from the World Health Organization and the Guidelines International Network-McMaster Guideline Development Checklist. With a consensus development process incorporating expert opinion to define important questions and extract evidence, the TFMCC developed relevant pandemic surge suggestions in a structured manner, incorporating peer-reviewed literature, "gray" evidence from lay media sources, and anecdotal experiential evidence. RESULTS: Ten suggestions were identified regarding staffing, load-balancing, communication, and technology. Staffing models are suggested with resilience strategies to support critical care staff. ICU surge strategies and strain indicators are suggested to enhance ICU prioritization tactics to maintain contingency level care and to avoid crisis triage, with early transfer strategies to further load-balance care. We suggest that intensivists and hospitalists be engaged with the incident command structure to ensure two-way communication, situational awareness, and the use of technology to support critical care delivery and families of patients in ICUs. INTERPRETATION: A subcommittee from the TFMCC offers interim evidence-informed operational strategies to assist hospitals and communities to plan for and respond to surge capacity demands resulting from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Advisory Committees , COVID-19 , Critical Care , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Surge Capacity , Triage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Critical Care/organization & administration , Evidence-Based Practice/methods , Evidence-Based Practice/organization & administration , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surge Capacity/organization & administration , Surge Capacity/standards , Triage/methods , Triage/standards , United States/epidemiology
6.
J Emerg Manag ; 18(7): 31-35, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-993974

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Local and regional policies to guide the allocation of scarce critical care resources have been developed, but the views of prospective users are not understood. We sought to investigate the perspectives of Canadian acute care physicians toward triaging scarce critical care resources in the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We rapidly deployed a brief survey to Canadian emergency and critical care physicians in April 2020 to investigate current attitudes toward triaging scarce critical care resources and identify subsequent areas for improvement. Descriptive and between-group analyses along with thematic coding were used. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 261 acute care physicians. Feelings of anxiety related to the pandemic were common (65 percent), as well as fears of psychological distress if required to triage scarce resources (77 percent). Only 49 percent of respondents felt confident in making resource allocation decisions. Both critical care and emergency physicians favored multidisciplinary teams over single physicians to allocate scarce critical care resources. Critical care physicians were supportive of decision making by teams not involved in patient care (3.4/5 versus 2.9/5 p = 0.04), whereas emergency physicians preferred to maintain their involvement in such decisions (3.4/5 versus 4.0/5 p = 0.007). Free text responses identified five themes for subsequent action including the need for further guidance on existing triage policies, ethical support in decision making, medicolegal protection, additional tools for therapeutic communications, and healthcare provider psychological support. CONCLUSION: There is an urgent need for collaboration between policymakers and frontline physicians to develop critical care resource triage policies that wholly consider the diversity of provider perspectives across practice environments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medicine , Physicians , Canada , Critical Care , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage
7.
Chest ; 159(2): 634-652, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973941

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there was serious concern that the United States would encounter a shortfall of mechanical ventilators. In response, the US government, using the Defense Production Act, ordered the development of 200,000 ventilators from 11 different manufacturers. These ventilators have different capabilities, and whether all are able to support COVID-19 patients is not evident. RESEARCH QUESTION: Evaluate ventilator requirements for affected COVID-19 patients, assess the clinical performance of current US Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) ventilators employed during the pandemic, and finally, compare ordered ventilators' functionality based on COVID-19 patient needs. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Current published literature, publicly available documents, and lay press articles were reviewed by a diverse team of disaster experts. Data were assembled into tabular format, which formed the basis for analysis and future recommendations. RESULTS: COVID-19 patients often develop severe hypoxemic acute respiratory failure and adult respiratory defense syndrome (ARDS), requiring high levels of ventilator support. Current SNS ventilators were unable to fully support all COVID-19 patients, and only approximately half of newly ordered ventilators have the capacity to support the most severely affected patients; ventilators with less capacity for providing high-level support are still of significant value in caring for many patients. INTERPRETATION: Current SNS ventilators and those on order are capable of supporting most but not all COVID-19 patients. Technologic, logistic, and educational challenges encountered from current SNS ventilators are summarized, with potential next-generation SNS ventilator updates offered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Strategic Stockpile , Ventilators, Mechanical/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Respiration, Artificial/instrumentation , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Ventilators, Mechanical/standards , Ventilators, Mechanical/supply & distribution
8.
Crit Care Med ; 48(8): 1196-1202, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972845

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Coronavirus disease 2019 patients are currently overwhelming the world's healthcare systems. This article provides practical guidance to front-line physicians forced to make critical rationing decisions. DATA SOURCES: PubMed and Medline search for scientific literature, reviews, and guidance documents related to epidemic ICU triage including from professional bodies. STUDY SELECTION: Clinical studies, reviews, and guidelines were selected and reviewed by all authors and discussed by internet conference and email. DATA EXTRACTION: References and data were based on relevance and author consensus. DATA SYNTHESIS: We review key challenges of resource-driven triage and data from affected ICUs. We recommend that once available resources are maximally extended, triage is justified utilizing a strategy that provides the greatest good for the greatest number of patients. A triage algorithm based on clinical estimations of the incremental survival benefit (saving the most life-years) provided by ICU care is proposed. "First come, first served" is used to choose between individuals with equal priorities and benefits. The algorithm provides practical guidance, is easy to follow, rapidly implementable and flexible. It has four prioritization categories: performance score, ASA score, number of organ failures, and predicted survival. Individual units can readily adapt the algorithm to meet local requirements for the evolving pandemic. Although the algorithm improves consistency and provides practical and psychologic support to those performing triage, the final decision remains a clinical one. Depending on country and operational circumstances, triage decisions may be made by a triage team or individual doctors. However, an experienced critical care specialist physician should be ultimately responsible for the triage decision. Cautious discharge criteria are proposed acknowledging the difficulties to facilitate the admission of queuing patients. CONCLUSIONS: Individual institutions may use this guidance to develop prospective protocols that assist the implementation of triage decisions to ensure fairness, enhance consistency, and decrease provider moral distress.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Health Care Rationing/methods , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Triage/methods , Adult , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care/standards , Health Care Rationing/standards , Humans , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/standards
10.
J Intensive Care Soc ; 22(4): 270-279, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-845820

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in a pandemic, outcomes are biased towards patients with shorter durations of critical illness. We describe 60-day outcomes for patients critically ill with confirmed COVID-19 and explore the potential bias in the weekly reported data by ICNARC. METHODS: First 200 consecutive patients with confirmed COVID-19, admitted for critical care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, followed-up for a minimum of 60 days from admission. Outcomes included survival and duration of critical care, receipt/duration of organ support in critical care and hospital survival. RESULTS: Mean age was 62.6 years, 70.5% were male, 52.0% were white, 39.2% obese and 9.0% had serious comorbidities. Median APACHE II score was 16 (IQR 12, 19). After 60 days, 83 (41.5%) patients had been discharged from hospital, 15 (7.5%) had been discharged from critical care but remained in hospital, 1 (0.5%) was still receiving critical care, 90 (45.0%) had died while receiving critical care and 11 (5.5%) had died in hospital after discharge from critical care. Median duration of critical care was 14.0 days (IQR 6.1, 23.0) for survivors and 10.0 days (IQR 5.0, 16.0) for non-survivors of critical care. Overall, 158 (79.0%) patients received advanced respiratory support for a median of 13 (IQR 8, 20) calendar days. Compared with weekly reports during the pandemic, critical care mortality started higher than but then decreased below that of the first 200 consecutive patients. Duration of critical care, for both survivors and non-survivors increased over time; however, both were still lower than those for the first 200 consecutive patients. Receipt and duration of organ support increased to values similar to those for the first 200 consecutive patients. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 in critical care has high mortality and places a large burden on resources. Analysis of preliminary data with limited follow-up should be interpreted with caution, particularly for future planning in a pandemic.

11.
Intensive Care Med ; 46(11): 2035-2047, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-841815

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To describe critical care patients with COVID-19 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and compare them with a historic cohort of patients with other viral pneumonias (non-COVID-19) and with international cohorts of COVID-19. METHODS: Extracted data on patient characteristics, acute illness severity, organ support and outcomes from the Case Mix Programme, the national clinical audit for adult critical care, for a prospective cohort of patients with COVID-19 (February to August 2020) are compared with a recent retrospective cohort of patients with other viral pneumonias (non-COVID-19) (2017-2019) and with other international cohorts of critical care patients with COVID-19, the latter identified from published reports. RESULTS: 10,834 patients with COVID-19 (70.1% male, median age 60 years, 32.6% non-white ethnicity, 39.4% obese, 8.2% at least one serious comorbidity) were admitted across 289 critical care units. Of these, 36.9% had a PaO2/FiO2 ratio of ≤ 13.3 kPa (≤ 100 mmHg) consistent with severe ARDS and 72% received invasive ventilation. Acute hospital mortality was 42%, higher than for 5782 critical care patients with other viral pneumonias (non-COVID-19) (24.7%), and most COVID-19 deaths (88.7%) occurred before 30 days. Meaningful international comparisons were limited due to lack of standardised reporting. CONCLUSION: Critical care patients with COVID-19 were disproportionately non-white, from more deprived areas and more likely to be male and obese. Conventional severity scoring appeared not to adequately reflect their acute severity, with the distribution across PaO2/FiO2 ratio categories indicating acutely severe respiratory disease. Critical care patients with COVID-19 experience high mortality and place a great burden on critical care services.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Aged , COVID-19 , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Northern Ireland/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , Wales/epidemiology
12.
Intensive Care Med ; 46(7): 1303-1325, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-574921

ABSTRACT

Given the rapidly changing nature of COVID-19, clinicians and policy makers require urgent review and summary of the literature, and synthesis of evidence-based guidelines to inform practice. The WHO advocates for rapid reviews in these circumstances. The purpose of this rapid guideline is to provide recommendations on the organizational management of intensive care units caring for patients with COVID-19 including: planning a crisis surge response; crisis surge response strategies; triage, supporting families, and staff.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care/standards , Equipment and Supplies, Hospital , Health Care Rationing/standards , Health Workforce , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Intensive Care Units/standards , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Respiration, Artificial/instrumentation , Respiration, Artificial/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage
14.
Eur Heart J Acute Cardiovasc Care ; 9(3): 241-247, 2020 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-133576

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented challenge for society. Supporting the mental health of medical staff and affiliated healthcare workers (staff) is a critical part of the public health response. This paper details the effects on staff and addresses some of the organisational, team and individual considerations for supporting staff (pragmatically) during this pandemic. Leaders at all levels of health care organisations will find this a valuable resource.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Medical Staff/psychology , Mental Health/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , COVID-19 , Communication , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Crisis Intervention/organization & administration , Critical Care/psychology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Empowerment , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humanism , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Interpersonal Relations , Leadership , Medical Staff/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Physicians/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Stress Disorders, Traumatic, Acute/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Traumatic, Acute/psychology
15.
Chest ; 158(1): 212-225, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-46588

ABSTRACT

Public health emergencies have the potential to place enormous strain on health systems. The current pandemic of the novel 2019 coronavirus disease has required hospitals in numerous countries to expand their surge capacity to meet the needs of patients with critical illness. When even surge capacity is exceeded, however, principles of critical care triage may be needed as a means to allocate scarce resources, such as mechanical ventilators or key medications. The goal of a triage system is to direct limited resources towards patients most likely to benefit from them. Implementing a triage system requires careful coordination between clinicians, health systems, local and regional governments, and the public, with a goal of transparency to maintain trust. We discuss the principles of tertiary triage and methods for implementing such a system, emphasizing that these systems should serve only as a last resort. Even under triage, we must uphold our obligation to care for all patients as best possible under difficult circumstances.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Resource Allocation/organization & administration , Triage/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Public Health/ethics , Public Health/methods , Public Health/standards , SARS-CoV-2 , Surge Capacity/ethics , Surge Capacity/organization & administration
16.
Can J Anaesth ; 67(5): 568-576, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-874

ABSTRACT

A global health emergency has been declared by the World Health Organization as the 2019-nCoV outbreak spreads across the world, with confirmed patients in Canada. Patients infected with 2019-nCoV are at risk for developing respiratory failure and requiring admission to critical care units. While providing optimal treatment for these patients, careful execution of infection control measures is necessary to prevent nosocomial transmission to other patients and to healthcare workers providing care. Although the exact mechanisms of transmission are currently unclear, human-to-human transmission can occur, and the risk of airborne spread during aerosol-generating medical procedures remains a concern in specific circumstances. This paper summarizes important considerations regarding patient screening, environmental controls, personal protective equipment, resuscitation measures (including intubation), and critical care unit operations planning as we prepare for the possibility of new imported cases or local outbreaks of 2019-nCoV. Although understanding of the 2019-nCoV virus is evolving, lessons learned from prior infectious disease challenges such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome will hopefully improve our state of readiness regardless of the number of cases we eventually manage in Canada.


RéSUMé: Une urgence sanitaire mondiale a été déclarée par l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé alors que l'épidémie de 2019-nCoV se répand dans le monde et que des cas ont été confirmés au Canada. Les patients infectés par le 2019-nCoV sont à risque d'insuffisance respiratoire et peuvent nécessiter une admission à l'unité de soins intensifs. Lors d'une prise en charge optimale de ces patients, il est indispensable de prendre soin d'exécuter rigoureusement les mesures de contrôle des infections afin de prévenir la transmission nosocomiale aux autres patients et aux travailleurs de la santé prodiguant les soins. Bien que les mécanismes précis de transmission ne soient pas encore connus, la transmission d'humain à humain peut survenir, et le risque de dissémination aérienne pendant les interventions médicales générant des aérosols est préoccupant dans certaines circonstances spécifiques. Cet article résume des considérations importantes en ce qui touche au dépistage des patients, aux contrôles environnementaux, au matériel de protection personnelle, aux mesures de réanimation (y compris l'intubation), et à la planification des activités à l'unité de soins intensifs alors que nous nous préparons à la possibilité de nouveaux cas importés ou d'éclosions locales du 2019-nCoV. Bien que la compréhension du virus 2019-nCoV continue d'évoluer, nous espérons que les leçons retenues des éclosions précédentes de maladies infectieuses telles que le syndrome respiratoire aigu sévère nous permettront d'améliorer notre degré de préparation, indépendamment du nombre de cas que nous traiterons au Canada.


Subject(s)
Anesthesiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Canada , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Cross Infection/virology , Diagnostic Screening Programs , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Intubation , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Resuscitation , SARS-CoV-2
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