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BMJ Open ; 12(2): e051982, 2022 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673430


OBJECTIVES: This study was conducted to explore the perspectives and opinions of intensive care unit (ICU) nurses and doctors at a COVID-19-designated pandemic hospital concerning the preparedness and response to COVID-19 and to consolidate the lessons learnt for crisis/disaster management in the future. DESIGN: A qualitative study using in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs). Purposeful sampling was conducted to identify participants. A semistructured guide was used to facilitate IDIs with individual participants. Two FGDs were conducted, one with the ICU doctors and another with the ICU nurses. Thematic analysis identified themes and subthemes informing about the level of preparedness, response measures, processes, and factors that were either facilitators or those that triggered challenges. SETTING: ICU in a quaternary referral centre affiliated to a university teaching COVID-19-designated pandemic hospital, in Adelaide, South Australia. PARTICIPANTS: The participants included eight ICU doctors and eight ICU nurses for the IDIs. Another 16 clinicians participated in FGDs. RESULTS: The study identified six themes relevant to preparedness for, and responses to, COVID-19. The themes included: (1) staff competence and planning, (2) information transfer and communication, (3) education and skills for the safe use of personal protective equipment, (4) team dynamics and clinical practice, (5) leadership, and (6) managing end-of-life situations and expectations of caregivers. CONCLUSION: Findings highlight that preparedness and response to the COVID-19 crisis were proportionate to the situation's gravity. More enablers than barriers were identified. However, opportunities for improvement were recognised in the domains of planning, logistics, self-sufficiency with equipment, operational and strategic oversight, communication and managing end-of-life care.

COVID-19 , Critical Care , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Personal Protective Equipment , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2
Crit Care ; 25(1): 106, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136238


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused unprecedented pressure on healthcare system globally. Lack of high-quality evidence on the respiratory management of COVID-19-related acute respiratory failure (C-ARF) has resulted in wide variation in clinical practice. METHODS: Using a Delphi process, an international panel of 39 experts developed clinical practice statements on the respiratory management of C-ARF in areas where evidence is absent or limited. Agreement was defined as achieved when > 70% experts voted for a given option on the Likert scale statement or > 80% voted for a particular option in multiple-choice questions. Stability was assessed between the two concluding rounds for each statement, using the non-parametric Chi-square (χ2) test (p < 0·05 was considered as unstable). RESULTS: Agreement was achieved for 27 (73%) management strategies which were then used to develop expert clinical practice statements. Experts agreed that COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is clinically similar to other forms of ARDS. The Delphi process yielded strong suggestions for use of systemic corticosteroids for critical COVID-19; awake self-proning to improve oxygenation and high flow nasal oxygen to potentially reduce tracheal intubation; non-invasive ventilation for patients with mixed hypoxemic-hypercapnic respiratory failure; tracheal intubation for poor mentation, hemodynamic instability or severe hypoxemia; closed suction systems; lung protective ventilation; prone ventilation (for 16-24 h per day) to improve oxygenation; neuromuscular blocking agents for patient-ventilator dyssynchrony; avoiding delay in extubation for the risk of reintubation; and similar timing of tracheostomy as in non-COVID-19 patients. There was no agreement on positive end expiratory pressure titration or the choice of personal protective equipment. CONCLUSION: Using a Delphi method, an agreement among experts was reached for 27 statements from which 20 expert clinical practice statements were derived on the respiratory management of C-ARF, addressing important decisions for patient management in areas where evidence is either absent or limited. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered with Clinical Identifier: NCT04534569.

COVID-19/complications , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Humans
Intern Med J ; 50(9): 1146-1150, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-697176


The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic represents unprecedented challenges to healthcare systems. We describe a cohort of 18 critically ill COVID-19 patients - to our knowledge the highest number, in a single intensive care unit in Australia. We discuss the complex challenges and dynamic solutions that concern an intensive care unit pandemic response. Acting as the State's COVID-19 referral hospital, we provide local insights to consider alongside national guidelines.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Aged , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Communication , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disaster Planning , Family/psychology , Female , Humans , Infection Control/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/standards , Length of Stay , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Health/standards , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Referral and Consultation , SARS-CoV-2 , South Australia/epidemiology