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1.
Intern Emerg Med ; 17(3): 639-644, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797521

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) has led to significant morbidity and mortality, and unprecedented economic and health system disruption. Non-pharmacologic interventions (NPIs) such as masking and physical distancing have formed the underpinnings of COVID-19 infection control strategies. Concomitantly, numerous jurisdictions have seen a decrease in hospitalizations for non-COVID-19 respiratory illnesses (NCRIs) such as asthma, community-acquired pneumonia, influenza, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease relative to pre-pandemic levels. These associations give rise to a number of testable hypotheses regarding the efficacy of NPIs in reducing the substantial burden of NCRIs. Here, we review emerging perspectives on the role of NPIs in NCRI prevention with the ultimate goal of informing future research and public policy development as we move into what may be the endemic phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Intern Emerg Med ; 17(3): 883-885, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1748432
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-312271

ABSTRACT

Background: During public health emergencies, disruptions to social landscapes and amplification of inequities for people with opioid use disorder raise important questions about reducing harms and providing treatment accountability to support this population during disasters including COVID-19. This research aims to a) identify how disasters impact persons with opioid use disorder (OUD) and their access to healthcare, with specific attention to COVID-19, and b) inform ongoing responses to the pandemic and future disaster-mitigation plans related to healthcare disruptions affecting persons with opioid use disorder (PWOUD). Methods: : We conducted knowledge synthesis based on a 6-stage scoping review framework methodology. Stakeholder consultation was completed using a Nominal Group Technique with two groups, each composed of including providers in primary, emergency and community-based care. One group (n=7) represented voices from urban services, and the other (n=4) Indigenous contexts allowing for attention to healing the whole person, beyond OAT. Results: : 61 scientific journal articles and 72 grey literature resources were included after full-text screening. Stakeholder NGT process revealed three contextual factors affecting system and service accountability for responsive OUD care during disaster-driven disruptions: (1) disasters focus attention on single risks and generalized solutions;(2) data-poor decision-making perpetuates stigma and produces policy inattentive to social determinants of health;and (3) harm reduction and contextually-tailored care prepare a system for future disasters. Conclusion: COVID-19 public health efforts require a coordinated systemic approach to serving PWOUD, based on accountability to patients and support for providers.

4.
Ann Intern Med ; 175(1): JC6, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631869

ABSTRACT

SOURCE CITATION: Rochwerg B, Agarwal A, Siemieniuk RA, et al. Update to living WHO guideline on drugs for covid-19. BMJ. 2021;374:n2219. 34556469.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
5.
Ann Intern Med ; 175(1): JC6, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555353

ABSTRACT

SOURCE CITATION: Rochwerg B, Agarwal A, Siemieniuk RA, et al. Update to living WHO guideline on drugs for covid-19. BMJ. 2021;374:n2219. 34556469.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
6.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(12): JC143, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555186

ABSTRACT

SOURCE CITATION: Martínez-Lacalzada M, Viteri-Noël A, Manzano L, et al. Predicting critical illness on initial diagnosis of COVID-19 based on easily-obtained clinical variables: development and validation of the PRIORITY model. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2021. [Epub ahead of print]. 34274525.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Critical Illness , Hospitalization , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e055832, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550968

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To develop and validate a clinical risk score that can accurately quantify the probability of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients presenting to an emergency department without the need for laboratory testing. DESIGN: Cohort study of participants in the Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network (CCEDRRN) registry. Regression models were fitted to predict a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result using clinical and demographic predictors, as well as an indicator of local SARS-CoV-2 incidence. SETTING: 32 emergency departments in eight Canadian provinces. PARTICIPANTS: 27 665 consecutively enrolled patients who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 in participating emergency departments between 1 March and 30 October 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Positive SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test result within 14 days of an index emergency department encounter for suspected COVID-19 disease. RESULTS: We derived a 10-item CCEDRRN COVID-19 Infection Score using data from 21 743 patients. This score included variables from history and physical examination and an indicator of local disease incidence. The score had a c-statistic of 0.838 with excellent calibration. We externally validated the rule in 5295 patients. The score maintained excellent discrimination and calibration and had superior performance compared with another previously published risk score. Score cut-offs were identified that can rule-in or rule-out SARS-CoV-2 infection without the need for nucleic acid testing with 97.4% sensitivity (95% CI 96.4 to 98.3) and 95.9% specificity (95% CI 95.5 to 96.0). CONCLUSIONS: The CCEDRRN COVID-19 Infection Score uses clinical characteristics and publicly available indicators of disease incidence to quantify a patient's probability of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The score can identify patients at sufficiently high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection to warrant isolation and empirical therapy prior to test confirmation while also identifying patients at sufficiently low risk of infection that they may not need testing. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04702945.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Canada/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(8): JC95, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1405521

ABSTRACT

SOURCE CITATION: Chua F, Vancheeswaran R, Draper A, et al. Early prognostication of COVID-19 to guide hospitalisation versus outpatient monitoring using a point-of-test risk prediction score. Thorax. 2021;76:696-703. 33692174.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
9.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1471, 2021 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331935

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During public health emergencies, people with opioid use disorder (PWOUD) may be particularly impacted. Emergent disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupt already-strained harm reduction efforts and treatment availability. This study aims to answer three research questions. How do public health emergencies impact PWOUD? How can health systems respond to novel public health emergencies to serve PWOUD? How can the results of this scoping review be contextualized to the province of Alberta to inform local stakeholder responses to the pandemic? METHODS: We conducted a scoping review using the 6-stage Arksey and O'Malley framework to analyse early-pandemic and pre-pandemic disaster literature. The results of the scoping review were contextualized to the local pandemic response, through a Nominal Group Technique (NGT) process with frontline providers and stakeholders in Alberta, Canada. RESULTS: Sixty one scientific journal articles and 72 grey literature resources were included after full-text screening. Forty sources pertained to early COVID-19 responses, and 21 focused on OUD treatment during other disasters. PWOUD may be more impacted than the general population by common COVID-19 stressors including loss of income, isolation, lack of rewarding activities, housing instability, as well as fear and anxiety. They may also face unique challenges including threats to drug supplies, stigma, difficulty accessing clean substance use supplies, and closure of substance use treatment centres. All of these impacts put PWOUD at risk of negative outcomes including fatal overdose. Two NGT groups were held. One group (n = 7) represented voices from urban services, and the other (n = 4) Indigenous contexts. Stakeholders suggested that simultaneous attention to multiple crises, with adequate resources to allow attention to both social and health systems issues, can prepare a system to serve PWOUD during disasters. CONCLUSION: This scoping review and NGT study uncovers how disasters impact PWOUD and offers suggestions for better serving PWOUD.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disasters , Opioid-Related Disorders , Alberta , Emergencies , Humans , Opioid-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
10.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252441, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249578

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As a result of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there have been widespread changes in healthcare access. We conducted a retrospective population-based study in Alberta, Canada (population 4.4 million), where there have been approximately 1550 hospital admissions for COVID-19, to determine the impact of COVID-19 on hospital admissions and emergency department (ED visits), following initiation of a public health emergency act on March 15, 2020. METHODS: We used multivariable negative binomial regression models to compare daily numbers of medical/surgical hospital admissions via the ED between March 16-September 23, 2019 (pre COVID-19) and March 16-September 23, 2020 (post COVID-19 public health measures). We compared the most frequent diagnoses for hospital admissions pre/post COVID-19 public health measures. A similar analysis was completed for numbers of daily ED visits for any reason with a particular focus on ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC). FINDINGS: There was a significant reduction in both daily medical (incident rate ratio (IRR) 0.86, p<0.001) and surgical (IRR 0.82, p<0.001) admissions through the ED in Alberta post COVID-19 public health measures. There was a significant decline in daily ED visits (IRR 0.65, p<0.001) including ACSC (IRR 0.75, p<0.001). The most common medical/surgical diagnoses for hospital admissions did not vary substantially pre and post COVID-19 public health measures, though there was a significant reduction in admissions for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a significant increase in admissions for mental and behavioral disorders due to use of alcohol. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a relatively low volume of COVID-19 hospital admissions in Alberta, there was an extensive impact on our healthcare system with fewer admissions to hospital and ED visits. This work generates hypotheses around causes for reduced hospital admissions and ED visits which warrant further investigation. As most publicly funded health systems struggle with health-system capacity routinely, understanding how these reductions can be safely sustained will be critical.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Canada/epidemiology , Female , Government Regulation , Humans , Male , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies
11.
Infect Prev Pract ; 3(3): 100146, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225263

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to personal protective equipment (PPE) supply concerns on a global scale. While efforts to increase production are underway in many jurisdictions, demand may yet outstrip supply leading to PPE shortages, particularly in low resource settings. PPE is critically important for the safety of healthcare workers (HCW) and patients and to reduce viral transmission within healthcare facilities. A structured narrative review was completed to identify methods for extending the use of available PPE as well as decontamination and reuse. METHODS: Database searches were conducted in MEDLINE and EMBASE for any available original research or review articles detailing guidelines for the safe extended use of PPE, and/or PPE decontamination and reuse protocols prior to September 28, 2020. Grey literature in addition to key websites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Infection Prevention Association of Canada (IPAC), and the National Health Service (NHS) was also reviewed. RESULTS: Extended use guidelines support co-locating patients with confirmed COVID-19 within specific areas of healthcare facilities to enable the use of PPE between multiple patients, and reduce PPE requirements outside these areas. Decontamination strategies for N95 respirators and face shields range from individual HCWs using conventional ovens and microwave steam bags at home, to large-scale centralized decontamination using autoclave machines, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, hydrogen peroxide vapors, or peracetic acid dry fogging systems. Specific protocols for such strategies have been recommended by the US CDC and WHO and are being implemented by multiple institutions across North America. Further studies are underway testing decontamination strategies that have been reported to be effective at inactivating coronavirus and influenza, and on SARs-CoV-2 specifically. CONCLUSIONS: This narrative review summarizes current extended use guidelines and decontamination protocols specific to COVID-19. Preserving PPE through the implementation of such strategies could help to mitigate shortages in PPE supply, and enable healthcare facilities in low resource settings to continue to operate safely for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.
CMAJ Open ; 9(1): E261-E270, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140799

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Emergency physicians lack high-quality evidence for many diagnostic and treatment decisions made for patients with suspected or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our objective is to describe the methods used to collect and ensure the data quality of a multicentre registry of patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. METHODS: This methodology study describes a population-based registry that has been enrolling consecutive patients presenting to the emergency department with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 since Mar. 1, 2020. Most data are collected from retrospective chart review. Phone follow-up with patients at 30 days captures the World Health Organization clinical improvement scale and contextual, social and cultural variables. Phone follow-up also captures patient-reported quality of life using the Veterans Rand 12-Item Health Survey at 30 days, 60 days, 6 months and 12 months. Fifty participating emergency departments from 8 provinces in Canada currently enrol patients into the registry. INTERPRETATION: Data from the registry of the Canadian COVID-19 Emergency Department Rapid Response Network will be used to derive and validate clinical decision rules to inform clinical decision-making, describe the natural history of the disease, evaluate COVID-19 diagnostic tests and establish the real-world effectiveness of treatments and vaccines, including in populations that are excluded or underrepresented in clinical trials. This registry has the potential to generate scientific evidence to inform our pandemic response, and to serve as a model for the rapid implementation of population-based data collection protocols for future public health emergencies. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinicaltrials.gov, no. NCT04702945.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emergency Medicine , Registries , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Canada , Data Accuracy , Data Collection , Data Management , Emergency Service, Hospital , Evidence-Based Emergency Medicine , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Information Storage and Retrieval , Patient Reported Outcome Measures , Prospective Studies , Quality of Life , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Telephone
13.
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e045343, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138354

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To determine the extent and nature of changes in utilisation of healthcare services during COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Systematic review. ELIGIBILITY: Eligible studies compared utilisation of services during COVID-19 pandemic to at least one comparable period in prior years. Services included visits, admissions, diagnostics and therapeutics. Studies were excluded if from single centres or studied only patients with COVID-19. DATA SOURCES: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane COVID-19 Study Register and preprints were searched, without language restrictions, until 10 August, using detailed searches with key concepts including COVID-19, health services and impact. DATA ANALYSIS: Risk of bias was assessed by adapting the Risk of Bias in Non-randomised Studies of Interventions tool, and a Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care tool. Results were analysed using descriptive statistics, graphical figures and narrative synthesis. OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome was change in service utilisation between prepandemic and pandemic periods. Secondary outcome was the change in proportions of users of healthcare services with milder or more severe illness (eg, triage scores). RESULTS: 3097 unique references were identified, and 81 studies across 20 countries included, reporting on >11 million services prepandemic and 6.9 million during pandemic. For the primary outcome, there were 143 estimates of changes, with a median 37% reduction in services overall (IQR -51% to -20%), comprising median reductions for visits of 42% (-53% to -32%), admissions 28% (-40% to -17%), diagnostics 31% (-53% to -24%) and for therapeutics 30% (-57% to -19%). Among 35 studies reporting secondary outcomes, there were 60 estimates, with 27 (45%) reporting larger reductions in utilisation among people with a milder spectrum of illness, and 33 (55%) reporting no difference. CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare utilisation decreased by about a third during the pandemic, with considerable variation, and with greater reductions among people with less severe illness. While addressing unmet need remains a priority, studies of health impacts of reductions may help health systems reduce unnecessary care in the postpandemic recovery. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020203729.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care , Humans
14.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(2): JC23, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1110696

ABSTRACT

SOURCE CITATION: Haimovich AD, Ravindra NG, Stoytchev S, et al. Development and validation of the quick COVID-19 Severity Index: a prognostic tool for early clinical decompensation. Ann Emerg Med. 2020;76:442-53. 33012378.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Humans , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2
16.
CMAJ Open ; 8(4): E887-E894, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000597

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among asymptomatic patients admitted to hospital has implications for personal protective equipment use, testing strategy and confidence in the safety of acute care services. Our aim was to estimate the positivity rate of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing among people admitted to hospital without symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Alberta, Canada. METHODS: Between Apr. 9 and May 24, 2020, we screened for COVID-19 symptoms and tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection in all consecutive adult patients (≥ 18 yr) admitted via emergency department to 3 Alberta hospitals. We summarized the parameters of the epidemic curve and assessed the performance of symptom screening versus RT-PCR results on nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab samples. RESULTS: The study period encompassed Alberta's initial epidemic curve, with peak active cases per 100 000 of 71.4 (0.07%) on Apr. 30, 2020, and 14.7 and 14.6 at the beginning (Apr. 9, 2020) and end (May 24, 2020), respectively. Testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection (64.9% throat and 35.1% nasopharyngeal swabs) was done on 3375 adults (mean age 51, standard deviation 21, yr; 51.5% men). None of the asymptomatic patients (n = 1814) tested positive, and 71 of those with symptoms tested positive (n = 1561; 4.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.6%-5.7%). Sensitivity of symptom screening (v. RT-PCR) was 100% (95% CI 95%-100%), and specificity was 55% (95% CI 53%-57%). Posttest probabilities for prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranging from 1.5 to 14 times the peak prevalence of active cases during the study did not change when we assumed lower sensitivity (92%). INTERPRETATION: In a region with low disease prevalence where protocolized symptom assessment was in place during the admission process, we did not identify people admitted to hospital without COVID-19 symptoms who were RT-PCR positive. There may not be additive benefit to universal testing of asymptomatic patients on hospital admission in a setting of low pretest probability and strong public health containment.


Subject(s)
Asymptomatic Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/standards , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Mass Screening/methods , Quality Improvement , Alberta/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Comorbidity , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
17.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 20(1): 1075, 2020 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-942237

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long term care (LTC) facilities provide health services and assist residents with daily care. At times residents may require transfer to emergency departments (ED), depending on the severity of their change in health status, their goals of care, and the ability of the facility to care for medically unstable residents. However, many transfers from LTC to ED are unnecessary, and expose residents to discontinuity in care and iatrogenic harms. This knowledge translation project aims to implement a standardized LTC-ED care and referral pathway for LTC facilities seeking transfer to ED, which optimizes the use of resources both within the LTC facility and surrounding community. METHODS/DESIGN: We will use a quasi-experimental randomized stepped-wedge design in the implementation and evaluation of the pathway within the Calgary zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS), Canada. Specifically, the intervention will be implemented in 38 LTC facilities. The intervention will involve a standardized LTC-ED care and referral pathway, along with targeted INTERACT® tools. The implementation strategies will be adapted to the local context of each facility and to address potential implementation barriers identified through a staff completed barriers assessment tool. The evaluation will use a mixed-methods approach. The primary outcome will be any change in the rate of transfers to ED from LTC facilities adjusted by resident-days. Secondary outcomes will include a post-implementation qualitative assessment of the pathway. Comparative cost-analysis will be undertaken from the perspective of publicly funded health care. DISCUSSION: This study will integrate current resources in the LTC-ED pathway in a manner that will better coordinate and optimize the care for LTC residents experiencing an acute change in health status.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Long-Term Care , Nursing Homes/statistics & numerical data , Quality Improvement , Quality of Health Care , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Alberta , Geriatrics , Health Services , Health Status , Humans
18.
Emerg Med Australas ; 32(6): 1077-1079, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-805500

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has produced significant changes in emergency medicine patient volumes, clinical practice, and has accelerated a number of systems-level developments. Many of these changes produced efficiencies in emergency care systems and contributed to a reduction in crowding and access block. In this paper, we explore these changes, analyse their risks and benefits and examine their sustainability for the future to the extent that they may combat crowding. We also examine the necessity of a system-wide approach in addressing ED crowding and access block.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Crowding , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Telemedicine
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