To investigate the pandemic's impact on critically ill patients with neurological emergencies, we compared care metrics and outcomes of patients with severe acute brain injury (SABI) before and during the initial COVID-19 surge at our institution. We included adult patients with SABI during two separate three-month time periods: 'pre-COVID vs COVID'. We further stratified the COVID cohort to characterize outcomes in patients requiring COVID-19 precautions (Patient Under Investigation, 'PUI'). The primary endpoint was in-hospital mortality; secondary endpoints included length of stay (LOS), diagnostic studies performed, time to emergent decompressive craniectomies (DCHC), ventilator management, and end-of-life care. We included 394 patients and found the overall number of admissions for SABI declined by 29 % during COVID (pre-COVID n = 231 vs COVID, n = 163). Our primary outcome of mortality and most secondary outcomes were similar between study periods. There were more frequent extubation attempts (72.1 % vs 76 %) and the mean time to extubation was shorter during COVID (55.5 h vs 38.2 h). The ICU LOS (6.10 days vs 4.69 days) and hospital LOS (15.32 days vs 11.74 days) was shorter during COVID. More PUIs died than non-PUIs (51.7 % vs 11.2 %), but when adjusted for markers of illness severity, this was not significant. We demonstrate the ability to maintain a consistent care delivery for patients with SABI during the pandemic at our institution. PUIs represent a population with higher illness severity at risk for delays in care. Multicenter, longitudinal studies are needed to explore the impact of the pandemic on patients with acute neurological emergencies.
Subject(s)Brain Injuries , COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies , Pandemics , Critical Illness , Intensive Care Units , Retrospective Studies
CONTEXT: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted variability in intensity of care. We aimed to characterize intensity of care among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. OBJECTIVES: Examine the prevalence and predictors of admission code status, palliative care consultation, comfort-measures-only orders, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. METHODS: This cross-sectional study examined data from an international registry of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. A proportional odds model evaluated predictors of more aggressive code status (i.e., Full Code) vs. less (i.e., Do Not Resuscitate, DNR). Among decedents, logistic regression was used to identify predictors of palliative care consultation, comfort measures only, and CPR at time of death. RESULTS: We included 29,923 patients across 179 sites. Among those with admission code status documented, Full Code was selected by 90% (n = 15,273). Adjusting for site, Full Code was more likely for patients who were of Black or Asian race (ORs 1.82, 95% CIs 1.5-2.19; 1.78, 1.15-3.09 respectively, relative to White race), Hispanic ethnicity (OR 1.89, CI 1.35-2.32), and male sex (OR 1.16, CI 1.0-1.33). Of the 4951 decedents, 29% received palliative care consultation, 59% transitioned to comfort measures only, and 29% received CPR, with non-White racial and ethnic groups less likely to receive comfort measures only and more likely to receive CPR. CONCLUSION: In this international cohort of patients with COVID-19, Full Code was the initial code status in the majority, and more likely among patients who were Black or Asian race, Hispanic ethnicity or male. These results provide direction for future studies to improve these disparities in care.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Terminal Care , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Resuscitation Orders , Retrospective Studies
BACKGROUND: Brazil has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, placing a high burden on ICUs. RESEARCH QUESTION: Are perceptions of ICU resource availability associated with end-of-life decisions and burnout among health care providers (HCPs) during COVID-19 surges in Brazil? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We electronically administered a survey to multidisciplinary ICU HCPs during two 2-week periods (in June 2020 and March 2021) coinciding with COVID-19 surges. We examined responses across geographical regions and performed multivariate regressions to explore factors associated with reports of: (1) families being allowed less input in decisions about maintaining life-sustaining treatments for patients with COVID-19 and (2) emotional distress and burnout. RESULTS: We included 1,985 respondents (57% physicians, 14% nurses, 12% respiratory therapists, 16% other HCPs). More respondents reported shortages during the second surge compared with the first (P < .05 for all comparisons), including lower availability of intensivists (66% vs 42%), ICU nurses (53% vs 36%), ICU beds (68% vs 22%), and ventilators for patients with COVID-19 (80% vs 70%); shortages were highest in the North. One-quarter of HCPs reported that families were allowed less input in decisions about maintaining life-sustaining treatments for patients with COVID-19, which was associated with lack of intensivists (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.37; 95% CI, 1.05-1.80) and ICU beds (aRR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.16-2.62) during the first surge and lack of N95 masks (aRR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.10-1.85), noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (aRR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.18-2.07), and oxygen concentrators (aRR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.13-2.00) during the second surge. Burnout was higher during the second surge (60% vs 71%; P < .001), associated with witnessing colleagues at one's hospital contract COVID-19 during both surges (aRR, 1.55 [95% CI, 1.25-1.93] and 1.31 [95% CI, 1.11-1.55], respectively), as well as worries about finances (aRR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.02-1.61) and lack of ICU nurses (aRR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.02-1.53) during the first surge. INTERPRETATION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, ICU HCPs in Brazil experienced substantial resource shortages, health care disparities between regions, changes in end-of-life care associated with resource shortages, and high proportions of burnout.
Subject(s)Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Brazil/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , Burnout, Professional/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Health Personnel , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
BACKGROUND: Assessing the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on intensive care unit (ICU) providers' perceptions of resource availability and evaluating the factors associated with emotional distress/burnout can inform interventions to promote provider well-being. METHODS: Between 23 April and 7 May 2020, we electronically administered a survey to physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists (RTs), and advanced practice providers (APPs) caring for COVID-19 patients in the United States. We conducted a multivariate regression to assess associations between concerns, a reported lack of resources, and 3 outcomes: a primary outcome of emotional distress/burnout and 2 secondary outcomes of (1) fear that the hospital is unable to keep providers safe; and (2) concern about transmitting COVID-19 to their families/communities. RESULTS: We included 1651 respondents from all 50 states: 47% were nurses, 25% physicians, 17% RTs, and 11% APPs. Shortages of intensivists and ICU nurses were reported by 12% and 28% of providers, respectively. The largest supply restrictions reported were for powered air purifying respirators (56% reporting restricted availability). Provider concerns included worries about transmitting COVID-19 to their families/communities (66%), emotional distress/burnout (58%), and insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE; 40%). After adjustment, emotional distress/burnout was significantly associated with insufficient PPE access (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32-1.55), stigma from community (aRR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.24-1.41), and poor communication with supervisors (aRR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.06-1.21). Insufficient PPE access was the strongest predictor of feeling that the hospital is unable to keep providers safe and worries about transmitting infection to their families/communities. CONCLUSIONS: Addressing insufficient PPE access, poor communication from supervisors, and community stigma may improve provider mental well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Pandemics , Critical Care , Humans , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has severely affected ICUs and critical care health-care providers (HCPs) worldwide. RESEARCH QUESTION: How do regional differences and perceived lack of ICU resources affect critical care resource use and the well-being of HCPs? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Between April 23 and May 7, 2020, we electronically administered a 41-question survey to interdisciplinary HCPs caring for patients critically ill with COVID-19. The survey was distributed via critical care societies, research networks, personal contacts, and social media portals. Responses were tabulated according to World Bank region. We performed multivariate log-binomial regression to assess factors associated with three main outcomes: limiting mechanical ventilation (MV), changes in CPR practices, and emotional distress and burnout. RESULTS: We included 2,700 respondents from 77 countries, including physicians (41%), nurses (40%), respiratory therapists (11%), and advanced practice providers (8%). The reported lack of ICU nurses was higher than that of intensivists (32% vs 15%). Limiting MV for patients with COVID-19 was reported by 16% of respondents, was lowest in North America (10%), and was associated with reduced ventilator availability (absolute risk reduction [ARR], 2.10; 95% CI, 1.61-2.74). Overall, 66% of respondents reported changes in CPR practices. Emotional distress or burnout was high across regions (52%, highest in North America) and associated with being female (mechanical ventilation, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.01-1.33), being a nurse (ARR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.13-1.53), reporting a shortage of ICU nurses (ARR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.05-1.33), reporting a shortage of powered air-purifying respirators (ARR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.09-1.55), and experiencing poor communication from supervisors (ARR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.16-1.46). INTERPRETATION: Our findings demonstrate variability in ICU resource availability and use worldwide. The high prevalence of provider burnout and its association with reported insufficient resources and poor communication from supervisors suggest a need for targeted interventions to support HCPs on the front lines.
Subject(s)COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Resources , Health Workforce , Personal Protective Equipment/supply & distribution , Burnout, Professional/psychology , Critical Care Nursing , Female , Financial Stress/psychology , Health Care Rationing , Hospital Bed Capacity , Humans , Male , N95 Respirators/supply & distribution , Nurses/psychology , Nurses/supply & distribution , Physicians/psychology , Physicians/supply & distribution , Psychological Distress , Respiratory Protective Devices/supply & distribution , Resuscitation Orders , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Ventilators, Mechanical/supply & distribution
Objectives: The global COVID-19 pandemic made strict visitation policies necessary. We explored the experiences of family members of patients with severe acute brain injury focusing on the impact of family presence in the hospital. Methods: Semistructured interviews (February 2018-April 2020) were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: We interviewed family members of 19 patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury, or cardiac arrest; five interviews occurred after initiation of restrictive visitation policies. Four key themes highlight the role of visitation on family's ability to (1) cope by being at the bedside, (2) protect and advocate for the patient, (3) build trust with clinicians, and (4) receive emotional support in the intensive care unit. After visitation restrictions, families found ways to communicate and support virtually and wished for proactive communication from clinicians. Conclusions: Family presence at patient's bedside fulfills important needs. Visitation restrictions require hospitals to be creative and inclusive to help maintain these connections.
Subject(s)Brain Injuries , COVID-19 , Family , Visitors to Patients , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Young Adult
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Nervous System Diseases/therapy , Neurology/organization & administration , Palliative Care/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adult , Advance Care Planning , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Family , Humans , Inpatients , Nervous System Diseases/complications , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Self Care , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Terminal Care
The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic requires drastic changes in allocation of resources, which can affect the delivery of stroke care, and many providers are seeking guidance. As caregivers, we are guided by 3 distinct principles that will occasionally conflict during the pandemic: (1) we must ensure the best care for those stricken with COVID-19, (2) we must provide excellent care and advocacy for patients with cerebrovascular disease and their families, and (3) we must advocate for the safety of health care personnel managing patients with stroke, with particular attention to those most vulnerable, including trainees. This descriptive review by a diverse group of experts in stroke care aims to provide advice by specifically addressing the potential impact of this pandemic on (1) the quality of the stroke care delivered, (2) ethical considerations in stroke care, (3) safety and logistic issues for providers of patients with stroke, and (4) stroke research. Our recommendations on these issues represent our best opinions given the available information, but are subject to revision as the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. We expect that ongoing emergent research will offer additional insights that will provide evidence that could prompt the modification or removal of some of these recommendations.