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Journal of the Intensive Care Society ; 24(1 Supplement):46-47, 2023.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-20244863


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has required clinical teams to function with an unprecedented amount of uncertainty, balancing complex risks and benefits in a highly fluid environment. This is especially the case when considering the delivery of a pregnant woman critically unwell with COVID-19. This is one maternal critical care team's reflections on establishing best practice and a shared mental model when undertaking a Caesarean section in critically unwell patients with COVID-19. Objective(s): We describe our experience of balancing the risks and streamlining the process of this high-risk intervention. Method(s): We used our standard clinical governance forums across four specialties (Obstetrics, Intensive care, Anaesthetics and Neonatology) to identify key challenges and learning points. We developed a working group to combine our learning and develop a shared mental model across the involved teams. Result(s): 1. The decision to deliver must be multidisciplinary involving Obstetrics, Intensive care, Anaesthetics, Neonatology and the patient according to their capacity to participate. The existing structure of twice daily ITU ward rounds could be leveraged as a 'pause' moment to consider the need for imminent delivery and review the risk-benefit balance of continued enhanced pharmacological thromboprophylaxis. 2. We identified a range of scenarios that our teams might be exposed to: 3. Perimortem Caesarean section 4. Critically unwell - unsafe to move to theatre 5. Critically unwell - safe to move to theatre 6. Recreating an obstetric theatre in the ICU Advantages Avoids moving a critically unstable patient, although our experience is increasing moving patients for ECMO. Some forms of maximal non-invasive therapy such as High Flow Nasal Oxygen may require interruption to move to theatre with resultant risk of harm or be difficult to continue in transport mode through a bulky ICU ventilator e.g. CPAP Disadvantages Significant logistics and coordination burden: multiple items of specialist equipment needing to be brought to the ICU. Human factors burden: performing a caesarean section in an unfamiliar environment is a significant increase in cognitive load for participating teams. Environmental factors: ICU side rooms may offer limited space vs the need to control the space if performed on an open unit. Delivering a Neonate into a COVID bubble. Conclusion(s): Developing a shared mental model across the key teams involved in delivering an emergency caesarean section in this cohort of critically unwell patients has enabled our group to own a common understanding of the key decisions and risks involved. We recommend a patient centred MDT decision making model, with a structure for regular reassessment by senior members of the teams involved. In most circumstances the human factors and logistical burden of recreating an operating theatre in the ICU outweighs the risk of transport to theatre. Pre-defined checklists and action cards mitigate the cognitive and logistical burden when multiple teams do perform an operative delivery in ICU. Action cards highlight key aspects of routine obstetric care to be replicated in the ICU environment.

Innovation in Aging ; 5:248-248, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2012573