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Respiration ; 100(10): 1027-1037, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261221


The imbalance between the prevalence of patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) and acute-on-chronic respiratory failure and the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds requires new solutions. The increasing use of non-invasive respiratory tools to support patients at earlier stages of ARF and the increased expertise of non-ICU clinicians in other types of supportive care have led to the development of adult pulmonary intensive care units (PICUs) and pulmonary intermediate care units (PIMCUs). As in other European countries, Italian PICUs and PIMCUs provide an intermediate level of care as the setting designed for managing ARF patients without severe non-pulmonary dysfunction. The PICUs and PIMCUs may also act as step-down units for weaning patients from prolonged mechanical ventilation and for discharging patients still requiring ventilatory support at home. These units may play an important role in the on-going coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This position paper promoted by the Italian Thoracic Society (ITS-AIPO) describes the models, facilities, staff, equipment, and operating methods of PICUs and PIMCUs.

COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intermediate Care Facilities/organization & administration , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Therapy , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Hospitalization , Humans , Italy , Patient Selection , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Societies, Medical