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1.
J Intensive Care ; 9(1): 60, 2021 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1456012

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Asia has more critically ill people than any other part of our planet. The aim of this article is to review the development of critical care as a specialty, critical care societies and education and research, the epidemiology of critical illness as well as epidemics and pandemics, accessibility and cost and quality of critical care, culture and end-of-life care, and future directions for critical care in Asia. MAIN BODY: Although the first Asian intensive care units (ICUs) surfaced in the 1960s and the 1970s and specialisation started in the 1990s, multiple challenges still exist, including the lack of intensivists, critical care nurses, and respiratory therapists in many countries. This is aggravated by the brain drain of skilled ICU staff to high-income countries. Critical care societies have been integral to the development of the discipline and have increasingly contributed to critical care education, although critical care research is only just starting to take off through collaboration across groups. Sepsis, increasingly aggravated by multidrug resistance, contributes to a significant burden of critical illness, while epidemics and pandemics continue to haunt the continent intermittently. In particular, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has highlighted the central role of critical care in pandemic response. Accessibility to critical care is affected by lack of ICU beds and high costs, and quality of critical care is affected by limited capability for investigations and treatment in low- and middle-income countries. Meanwhile, there are clear cultural differences across countries, with considerable variations in end-of-life care. Demand for critical care will rise across the continent due to ageing populations and rising comorbidity burdens. Even as countries respond by increasing critical care capacity, the critical care community must continue to focus on training for ICU healthcare workers, processes anchored on evidence-based medicine, technology guided by feasibility and impact, research applicable to Asian and local settings, and rallying of governments for support for the specialty. CONCLUSIONS: Critical care in Asia has progressed through the years, but multiple challenges remain. These challenges should be addressed through a collaborative approach across disciplines, ICUs, hospitals, societies, governments, and countries.

2.
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e040616, 2021 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140331

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: SARS-CoV-2-related disease, referred to as COVID-19, has emerged as a global pandemic since December 2019. While there is growing recognition regarding possible airborne transmission, particularly in the setting of aerosol-generating procedures and treatments, whether nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 generate aerosols remains unclear. DESIGN: Systematic review. DATA SOURCES: We searched Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE up to 3 November 2020. We also searched the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Medical Journal Network, medRxiv and ClinicalTrials.gov up to 29 March 2020. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: All comparative and non-comparative studies that evaluated dispersion or aerosolisation of viable airborne organisms, or transmission of infection associated with nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab testing. RESULTS: Of 7702 citations, only one study was deemed eligible. Using a dedicated sampling room with negative pressure isolation room, personal protective equipment including N95 or higher masks, strict sterilisation protocols, structured training with standardised collection methods and a structured collection and delivery system, a tertiary care hospital proved a 0% healthcare worker infection rate among eight nurses conducting over 11 000 nasopharyngeal swabs. No studies examining transmissibility with other safety protocols, nor any studies quantifying the risk of aerosol generation with nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs for detection of SARS-CoV-2, were identified. CONCLUSIONS: There is limited to no published data regarding aerosol generation and risk of transmission with nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Field experiments to quantify this risk are warranted. Vigilance in adhering to current standards for infection control is suggested.


Subject(s)
Aerosols , COVID-19 Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Infection Control , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , Pandemics
3.
Intensive Care Med ; 47(3): 282-291, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092644

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has posed unprecedented healthcare system challenges, some of which will lead to transformative change. It is obvious to healthcare workers and policymakers alike that an effective critical care surge response must be nested within the overall care delivery model. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted key elements of emergency preparedness. These include having national or regional strategic reserves of personal protective equipment, intensive care unit (ICU) devices, consumables and pharmaceuticals, as well as effective supply chains and efficient utilization protocols. ICUs must also be prepared to accommodate surges of patients and ICU staffing models should allow for fluctuations in demand. Pre-existing ICU triage and end-of-life care principles should be established, implemented and updated. Daily workflow processes should be restructured to include remote connection with multidisciplinary healthcare workers and frequent communication with relatives. The pandemic has also demonstrated the benefits of digital transformation and the value of remote monitoring technologies, such as wireless monitoring. Finally, the pandemic has highlighted the value of pre-existing epidemiological registries and agile randomized controlled platform trials in generating fast, reliable data. The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that besides our duty to care, we are committed to improve. By meeting these challenges today, we will be able to provide better care to future patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Care/trends , Pandemics , Critical Care/organization & administration , Disaster Planning , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Monitoring, Physiologic/instrumentation , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Personal Protective Equipment , Surge Capacity , Telemedicine , Workflow
5.
Critical care and resuscitation : journal of the Australasian Academy of Critical Care Medicine ; 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-34896

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To report the first eight cases of critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, describing the treatments and supportive care they received and their 28-day outcomes. DESIGN: Multicentre retrospective observational cohort study. SETTING: Three multidisciplinary intensive care units (ICUs) in Hong Kong. PARTICIPANTS: All adult critically ill patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to ICUs in Hong Kong between 22 January and 11 February 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: 28-day mortality. RESULTS: Eight out of 49 patients with COVID-19 (16%) were admitted to Hong Kong ICUs during the study period. The median age was 64.5 years (range, 42–70) with a median admission Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score of 6 (IQR, 4–7). Six patients (75%) required mechanical ventilation, six patients (75%) required vasopressors and two (25%) required renal replacement therapy. None of the patients required prone ventilation, nitric oxide or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The median times to shock reversal and extubation were 9 and 11 days respectively. At 28 days, one patient (12%) had died and the remaining seven (88%) all survived to ICU discharge. Only one of the survivors (14%) still required oxygen at 28 days. CONCLUSION: Critically ill patients with COVID-19 often require a moderate duration of mechanical ventilation and vasopressor support. Most of these patients recover and survive to ICU discharge with supportive care using lung protective ventilation strategies, avoiding excess fluids, screening and treating bacterial co-infection, and timely intubation. Lower rather than upper respiratory tract viral burden correlates with clinical severity of illness.

6.
Lancet Respir Med ; 8(5): 506-517, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-35108

ABSTRACT

As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads across the world, the intensive care unit (ICU) community must prepare for the challenges associated with this pandemic. Streamlining of workflows for rapid diagnosis and isolation, clinical management, and infection prevention will matter not only to patients with COVID-19, but also to health-care workers and other patients who are at risk from nosocomial transmission. Management of acute respiratory failure and haemodynamics is key. ICU practitioners, hospital administrators, governments, and policy makers must prepare for a substantial increase in critical care bed capacity, with a focus not just on infrastructure and supplies, but also on staff management. Critical care triage to allow the rationing of scarce ICU resources might be needed. Researchers must address unanswered questions, including the role of repurposed and experimental therapies. Collaboration at the local, regional, national, and international level offers the best chance of survival for the critically ill.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care/methods , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
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