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1.
Intern Med J ; 52(6): 935-943, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874422

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Older frail patients are more likely to have timely goals of care (GOC) documentation than non-frail patients. AIMS: To investigate whether timely documentation of GOC within 72 h differed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), compared with the pre-COVID-19 era (2019) for older frail patients. METHODS: Multi-site retrospective cohort study was conducted in two public hospitals where all consecutive frail adult patients aged ≥65 years were admitted under medical units for at least 24 h between 1 March 31 and October in 2019 and between 1 March and 31 October 2020 were included. The GOC was derived from electronic records. Frailty status was derived from hospital coding data using hospital frailty risk score (frail ≥5). The primary outcome was the documentation of GOC within 72 h of hospital admission. Secondary outcomes included hospital mortality, rapid response call, intensive care unit admission, prolonged hospital length of stay (≥10 days) and time to the documentation of GOC. RESULTS: The study population comprised 2021 frail patients admitted in 2019 and 1849 admitted in 2020, aged 81.2 and 90.9 years respectively. The proportion of patients with timely GOC was lower in 2020, than 2019 (48.3% (893/1849) vs 54.9% (1109/2021); P = 0.021). After adjusting for confounding factors, patients in 2020 were less likely to receive timely GOC (odds ratio = 0.77; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68-0.88). Overall time to GOC documentation was longer in 2020 (hazard ratio = 0.86; 95% CI 0.80-0.93). CONCLUSION: Timely GOC documentation occurred less frequently in frail patients during the COVID-19 pandemic than in the pre-COVID-19 era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Documentation , Frail Elderly , Frailty/diagnosis , Frailty/epidemiology , Humans , Length of Stay , Pandemics , Patient Care Planning , Retrospective Studies
4.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(4): 341-349, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526520

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Melbourne, Australia, successfully halted exponential transmission of COVID-19 via two strict lockdowns during 2020. The impact of such restrictions on healthcare-seeking behaviour is not comprehensively understood, but is of global importance. We explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on acute, subacute and emergency department (ED) presentations/admissions within a tertiary, metropolitan health service in Melbourne, Australia, over two waves of community transmission (1 March to 20 September 2020). METHODS: We used 4 years of historical data and novel forecasting methods to predict counterfactual hospital activity for 2020, assuming absence of COVID-19. Observed activity was compared with forecasts overall, by age, triage category and for myocardial infarction and stroke. Data were analysed for all patients residing in the health service catchment area presenting between 4 January 2016 and 20 September 2020. RESULTS: ED presentations (n=401 805), acute admissions (n=371 723) and subacute admissions (n=15 676) were analysed. Substantial departures from forecasted presentation levels were observed during both waves in the ED and acute settings, and during the second wave in subacute. Reductions were most marked among those aged >80 and <18 years. Presentations persisted at expected levels for urgent conditions, and ED triage categories 1 and 5, with clear reductions in categories 2-4. CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses suggest citizens were willing and able to present with life-threatening conditions during Melbourne's lockdowns, and that switching to telemedicine did not cause widespread spill-over from primary care into ED. During a pandemic, lockdowns may not inhibit appropriate hospital attendance where rates of infectious disease are low.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors
5.
Crit Care Med ; 49(10): e1001-e1014, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475867

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Several studies have reported prone positioning of nonintubated patients with coronavirus diseases 2019-related hypoxemic respiratory failure. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the impact of prone positioning on oxygenation and clinical outcomes. DESIGN AND SETTING: We searched PubMed, Embase, and the coronavirus diseases 2019 living systematic review from December 1, 2019, to November 9, 2020. SUBJECTS AND INTERVENTION: Studies reporting prone positioning in hypoxemic, nonintubated adult patients with coronavirus diseases 2019 were included. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Data on prone positioning location (ICU vs non-ICU), prone positioning dose (total minutes/d), frequency (sessions/d), respiratory supports during prone positioning, relative changes in oxygenation variables (peripheral oxygen saturation, Pao2, and ratio of Pao2 to the Fio2), respiratory rate pre and post prone positioning, intubation rate, and mortality were extracted. Twenty-five observational studies reporting prone positioning in 758 patients were included. There was substantial heterogeneity in prone positioning location, dose and frequency, and respiratory supports provided. Significant improvements were seen in ratio of Pao2 to the Fio2 (mean difference, 39; 95% CI, 25-54), Pao2 (mean difference, 20 mm Hg; 95% CI, 14-25), and peripheral oxygen saturation (mean difference, 4.74%; 95% CI, 3-6%). Respiratory rate decreased post prone positioning (mean difference, -3.2 breaths/min; 95% CI, -4.6 to -1.9). Intubation and mortality rates were 24% (95% CI, 17-32%) and 13% (95% CI, 6-19%), respectively. There was no difference in intubation rate in those receiving prone positioning within and outside ICU (32% [69/214] vs 33% [107/320]; p = 0.84). No major adverse events were recorded in small subset of studies that reported them. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the significant variability in frequency and duration of prone positioning and respiratory supports applied, prone positioning was associated with improvement in oxygenation variables without any reported serious adverse events. The results are limited by a lack of controls and adjustments for confounders. Whether this improvement in oxygenation results in meaningful patient-centered outcomes such as reduced intubation or mortality rates requires testing in well-designed randomized clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Prone Position/physiology , COVID-19/mortality , Humans , Patient Positioning , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/physiopathology
6.
Aust Crit Care ; 35(1): 34-39, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469819

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) has effected major changes to healthcare delivery within acute care settings. Rapid response calls (RRCs) in healthcare organisations have been effective at identifying and urgently managing acute clinical deterioration. Code-95 RRC were introduced to prewarn healthcare workers (HCWs) attending to patients suspected or confirmed with COVID-19 infection. AIMS: The primary aim of the study was to identify the personal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HCWs involved in attending Code-95 RRC. We sought to evaluate their perception of risks and effects on wellbeing and identify potential opportunities for improvement at organisational levels. METHODS: We undertook a detailed survey on HCWs attending Code-95 RRCs, including questions that sought to understand the impact of the pandemic as well as their perception of infection risk and emotional wellbeing. This was a substudy of the prospective cross-sectional single-centre survey of HCWs that was conducted over a 3-week period at Frankston Hospital, Victoria, Australia. We adopted a quantitative content analysis approach for free-text responses in this secondary analysis. RESULTS: Four hundred two free-text comments were received from 297 respondents and were analysed. More than two-thirds (68%, 223/297) were female. Of all comments, 39% (155/402) were related to organisational issues including communication, confusion due to constantly changing infection control policies, and insufficient training. Thirty-three percent of comments (133/402) raised issues regarding the adequacy of personal protective equipment. Anxiety was reported in 25% of comments (101/402) with concerns predominantly relating to emotional stress and fatigue, risks of virus exposure and transmitting the infection to others, and COVID-19 precautions impairing care delivery. CONCLUSION(S): Our study raises important issues that have relevance for all healthcare organisations in the management of patients with COVID-19. These include the importance of improving communication, especially when infection control policies are revised, optimising training, maintaining adequate personal protective equipment, and HCW support. Early recognition and management of these issues are crucial to maintain optimal healthcare delivery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Perception , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Victoria
7.
Intern Med J ; 51(4): 494-505, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199691

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To allow better allocation of staff and resources, rapid response teams attending to acutely deteriorating or aggressive patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection were pre-warned with the announcement of 'Code-95' with calls. AIM: To assess healthcare worker (HCW) perspectives on pre-warning rapid response calls (RRC) with 'Code-95' in announcements when attending to deteriorating or aggressive patients with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 infection. METHODS: Design: prospective cross-sectional single-centre survey of HCW over a 3-week period. SETTING: tertiary public hospital. PARTICIPANTS: HCW caring for deteriorating or aggressive patients. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: the primary outcome was to assess HCW perspectives in attending Code-95 calls. Secondary outcomes were to identify any differences related to craft group, age, experience or presence of comorbidities. RESULTS: A total of 297 responses was analysed; 86.7% of HCW (n = 257) attending Code-95 calls reported anxiety. Medical staff reported greater anxiety in comparison to nursing staff (93.8% vs 78.5%; P = 0.002). Efferent team reported higher anxiety in contrast to afferent team (92.6% vs 58.8%; P = 0.021). There was no significant difference in perceived anxiety based on age (≤40 vs >40 years of age), years of experience (≤5 vs >5 years), comorbidities or mental illness; 54% reported concerns about adequacy of infection-control policies and personal protective equipment; 45% were worried about inadequate training for responding to Code-95 calls. CONCLUSIONS: Most surveyed HCW supported Code-95 announcements pre-warning them of potential COVID-19 exposure when attending a RRC. However, the majority of HCW reported anxiety when attending these calls. Medical and efferent team HCW perceived greater anxiety compared to nursing and afferent team HCW. The Code-95 system to pre-warn rapid response teams may be a useful addition to protecting HCW from infectious diseases, although broader implementation will require greater resourcing, training and support.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Perception , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 106, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136238

ABSTRACT

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 trials.gov Identifier: NCT04534569.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Humans
9.
Intern Med J ; 50(8): 1019-1020, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-767464
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