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2.
Medicine (Baltimore) ; 100(19): e25771, 2021 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2190997

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Corona virus disease-2019 (COVID-19) presents primarily with respiratory symptoms. However, extra respiratory manifestations are being frequently recognized including gastrointestinal involvement. The most common gastrointestinal symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Gastrointestinal perforation in association with COVID-19 is rarely reported in the literature. PATIENT CONCERNS AND DIAGNOSIS: In this series, we are reporting 3 cases with different presentations of gastrointestinal perforation in the setting of COVID-19. Two patients were admitted with critical COVID-19 pneumonia, both required intensive care, intubation and mechanical ventilation. The first one was an elderly gentleman who had difficult weaning from mechanical ventilation and required tracheostomy. During his stay in intensive care unit, he developed Candidemia without clear source. After transfer to the ward, he developed lower gastrointestinal bleeding and found by imaging to have sealed perforated cecal mass with radiological signs of peritonitis. The second one was an obese young gentleman who was found incidentally to have air under diaphragm. Computed tomography showed severe pneumoperitoneum with cecal and gastric wall perforation. The third case was an elderly gentleman who presented with severe COVID-19 pneumonia along with symptoms and signs of acute abdomen who was confirmed by imaging to have sigmoid diverticulitis with perforation and abscess collection. INTERVENTIONS: The first 2 cases were treated conservatively. The third one was treated surgically. OUTCOME: Our cases had a variable hospital course but fortunately all were discharged in a good clinical condition. CONCLUSION: Our aim from this series is to highlight this fatal complication to clinicians in order to enrich our understanding of this pandemic and as a result improve patients' outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Gastrointestinal Tract/injuries , Rupture, Spontaneous/etiology , Adult , Aged , Critical Care/organization & administration , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Rectum/injuries , SARS-CoV-2 , Stomach/injuries
3.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264644, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793511

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Patients with high-consequence infectious diseases (HCID) are rare in Western Europe. However, high-level isolation units (HLIU) must always be prepared for patient admission. Case fatality rates of HCID can be reduced by providing optimal intensive care management. We here describe a single centre's preparation, its embedding in the national context and the challenges we faced during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. METHODS: Ten team leaders organize monthly whole day trainings for a team of doctors and nurses from the HLIU focusing on intensive care medicine. Impact and relevance of training are assessed by a questionnaire and a perception survey, respectively. Furthermore, yearly exercises with several partner institutions are performed to cover different real-life scenarios. Exercises are evaluated by internal and external observers. Both training sessions and exercises are accompanied by intense feedback. RESULTS: From May 2017 monthly training sessions were held with a two-month and a seven-month break due to the first and second wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, respectively. Agreement with the statements of the questionnaire was higher after training compared to before training indicating a positive effect of training sessions on competence. Participants rated joint trainings for nurses and doctors at regular intervals as important. Numerous issues with potential for improvement were identified during post processing of exercises. Action plans for their improvement were drafted and as of now mostly implemented. The network of the permanent working group of competence and treatment centres for HCID (Ständiger Arbeitskreis der Kompetenz- und Behandlungszentren für Krankheiten durch hochpathogene Erreger (STAKOB)) at the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI) was strengthened throughout the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. DISCUSSION: Adequate preparation for the admission of patients with HCID is challenging. We show that joint regular trainings of doctors and nurses are appreciated and that training sessions may improve perceived skills. We also show that real-life scenario exercises may reveal additional deficits, which cannot be easily disclosed in training sessions. Although the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic interfered with our activities the enhanced cooperation among German HLIU during the pandemic ensured constant readiness for the admission of HCID patients to our or to collaborating HLIU. This is a single centre's experience, which may not be generalized to other centres. However, we believe that our work may address aspects that should be considered when preparing a unit for the admission of patients with HCID. These may then be adapted to the local situations.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/therapy , Critical Care/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Patient Isolation/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Clinical Competence , Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , Education, Medical, Continuing/methods , Education, Medical, Continuing/organization & administration , Education, Nursing, Continuing/methods , Education, Nursing, Continuing/organization & administration , Environment Design , Germany/epidemiology , History, 21st Century , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Admission , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Patient Isolation/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Simulation Training/organization & administration , Workflow
4.
Can J Anaesth ; 67(10): 1417-1423, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777840

ABSTRACT

Symptom management and end-of-life care are core skills for all physicians, although in ordinary times many anesthesiologists have fewer occasions to use these skills. The current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused significant mortality over a short time and has necessitated an increase in provision of both critical care and palliative care. For anesthesiologists deployed to units caring for patients with COVID-19, this narrative review provides guidance on conducting goals of care discussions, withdrawing life-sustaining measures, and managing distressing symptoms.


RéSUMé: La prise en charge des symptômes et les soins de fin de vie sont des compétences de base pour tous les médecins, bien qu'en temps ordinaire, de nombreux anesthésiologistes n'ont que peu d'occasions de mettre en pratique ces compétences. La pandémie actuelle de coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) a provoqué un taux de mortalité significatif dans un court intervalle et a nécessité une augmentation des besoins en soins intensifs et en soins palliatifs. Destiné aux anesthésiologistes déployés dans les unités prenant soin de patients atteints de la COVID-19, ce compte rendu narratif offre des recommandations quant à la façon de mener les discussions à propos des objectifs de soins, du retrait des thérapies de soutien vital, et de la prise en charge de symptômes de détresse.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Care/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Terminal Care/organization & administration , Anesthesiologists/organization & administration , Anesthesiologists/standards , COVID-19 , Clinical Competence , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Critical Care/standards , Humans , Palliative Care/organization & administration , Pandemics , Physicians/organization & administration , Physicians/standards , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Terminal Care/standards , Withholding Treatment
9.
Front Health Serv Manage ; 38(1): 27-31, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455387

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY: Critical access hospitals (CAHs) serve their rural communities as the main access points and communication centers for healthcare, typically with very limited financial, staffing, and support resources. Local residents rely on their CAHs as the only providers for many miles around. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, CAH leaders had to rethink operations and priorities, both internally with staffs and externally with community leaders and organizations. Few critical care beds were available when the need was greatest. Testing was problematic, and cultural barriers complicated care. Now, as virus variants strike where vaccination numbers are low, CAH leaders remain wary of financial hits to elective procedure income, limited resources, and added stress for their staffs. Working with community service organizations and larger regional healthcare centers is a crucial strategy for CAHs as they address care delivery issues and ensure that their caregivers can do their jobs now and in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/organization & administration , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Administrators/psychology , Rural Health Services/organization & administration , Adult , Animals , Attitude of Health Personnel , Female , Hospital Administration , Humans , Illinois , Leadership , Male , Middle Aged , Organizational Objectives , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Anaesthesist ; 69(10): 717-725, 2020 Oct.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453673

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following the regional outbreak in China, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread all over the world, presenting the healthcare systems with huge challenges worldwide. In Germany the coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in a slowly growing demand for health care with a sudden occurrence of regional hotspots. This leads to an unpredictable situation for many hospitals, leaving the question of how many bed resources are needed to cope with the surge of COVID-19 patients. OBJECTIVE: In this study we created a simulation-based prognostic tool that provides the management of the University Hospital of Augsburg and the civil protection services with the necessary information to plan and guide the disaster response to the ongoing pandemic. Especially the number of beds needed on isolation wards and intensive care units (ICU) are the biggest concerns. The focus should lie not only on the confirmed cases as the patients with suspected COVID-19 are in need of the same resources. MATERIAL AND METHODS: For the input we used the latest information provided by governmental institutions about the spreading of the disease, with a special focus on the growth rate of the cumulative number of cases. Due to the dynamics of the current situation, these data can be highly variable. To minimize the influence of this variance, we designed distribution functions for the parameters growth rate, length of stay in hospital and the proportion of infected people who need to be hospitalized in our area of responsibility. Using this input, we started a Monte Carlo simulation with 10,000 runs to predict the range of the number of hospital beds needed within the coming days and compared it with the available resources. RESULTS: Since 2 February 2020 a total of 306 patients were treated with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 at this university hospital. Of these 84 needed treatment on the ICU. With the help of several simulation-based forecasts, the required ICU and normal bed capacity at Augsburg University Hospital and the Augsburg ambulance service in the period from 28 March 2020 to 8 June 2020 could be predicted with a high degree of reliability. Simulations that were run before the impact of the restrictions in daily life showed that we would have run out of ICU bed capacity within approximately 1 month. CONCLUSION: Our simulation-based prognosis of the health care capacities needed helps the management of the hospital and the civil protection service to make reasonable decisions and adapt the disaster response to the realistic needs. At the same time the forecasts create the possibility to plan the strategic response days and weeks in advance. The tool presented in this study is, as far as we know, the only one accounting not only for confirmed COVID-19 cases but also for suspected COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the few input parameters used are easy to access and can be easily adapted to other healthcare systems.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Care/organization & administration , Hospital Bed Capacity , Hospitals, University/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Germany , Hospitals, University/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Chest ; 161(2): 429-447, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401309

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: After the publication of a 2014 consensus statement regarding mass critical care during public health emergencies, much has been learned about surge responses and the care of overwhelming numbers of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gaps in prior pandemic planning were identified and require modification in the midst of severe ongoing surges throughout the world. RESEARCH QUESTION: A subcommittee from The Task Force for Mass Critical Care (TFMCC) investigated the most recent COVID-19 publications coupled with TFMCC members anecdotal experience in order to formulate operational strategies to optimize contingency level care, and prevent crisis care circumstances associated with increased mortality. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: TFMCC adopted a modified version of established rapid guideline methodologies from the World Health Organization and the Guidelines International Network-McMaster Guideline Development Checklist. With a consensus development process incorporating expert opinion to define important questions and extract evidence, the TFMCC developed relevant pandemic surge suggestions in a structured manner, incorporating peer-reviewed literature, "gray" evidence from lay media sources, and anecdotal experiential evidence. RESULTS: Ten suggestions were identified regarding staffing, load-balancing, communication, and technology. Staffing models are suggested with resilience strategies to support critical care staff. ICU surge strategies and strain indicators are suggested to enhance ICU prioritization tactics to maintain contingency level care and to avoid crisis triage, with early transfer strategies to further load-balance care. We suggest that intensivists and hospitalists be engaged with the incident command structure to ensure two-way communication, situational awareness, and the use of technology to support critical care delivery and families of patients in ICUs. INTERPRETATION: A subcommittee from the TFMCC offers interim evidence-informed operational strategies to assist hospitals and communities to plan for and respond to surge capacity demands resulting from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Advisory Committees , COVID-19 , Critical Care , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Surge Capacity , Triage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Critical Care/organization & administration , Evidence-Based Practice/methods , Evidence-Based Practice/organization & administration , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surge Capacity/organization & administration , Surge Capacity/standards , Triage/methods , Triage/standards , United States/epidemiology
12.
Chest ; 161(2): 504-513, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401308

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Faced with possible shortages due to COVID-19, many states updated or rapidly developed crisis standards of care (CSCs) and other pandemic preparedness plans (PPPs) for rationing resources, particularly ventilators. RESEARCH QUESTION: How have US states incorporated the controversial standard of rationing by age and/or life-years into their pandemic preparedness plans? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: This was an investigator-initiated, textual analysis conducted from April to June 2020, querying online resources and in-state contacts to identify PPPs published by each of the 50 states and for Washington, DC. Analysis included the most recent versions of CSC documents and official state PPPs containing triage guidance as of June 2020. Plans were categorized as rationing by (A) short-term survival (≤ 1 year), (B) 1 to 5 expected life-years, (C) total life-years, (D) "fair innings," that is, specific age cutoffs, or (O) other. The primary measure was any use of age and/or life-years. Plans were further categorized on the basis of whether age/life-years was a primary consideration. RESULTS: Thirty-five states promulgated PPPs addressing the rationing of critical care resources. Seven states considered short-term prognosis, seven considered whether a patient had 1 to 5 expected life-years, 13 rationed by total life-years, and one used the fair innings principle. Seven states provided only general ethical considerations. Seventeen of the 21 plans considering age/life-years made it a primary consideration. Several plans borrowed heavily from a few common sources, although use of terminology was inconsistent. Many documents were modified in light of controversy. INTERPRETATION: Guidance with respect to rationing by age and/or life-years varied widely. More than one-half of PPPs, many following a few common models, included age/life-years as an explicit rationing criterion; the majority of these made it a primary consideration. Terminology was often vague, and many plans evolved in response to pushback. These findings have ethical implications for the care of older adults and other vulnerable populations during a pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense/standards , Crew Resource Management, Healthcare , Critical Care , Health Care Rationing/standards , Standard of Care/organization & administration , Triage , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Crew Resource Management, Healthcare/ethics , Crew Resource Management, Healthcare/methods , Crew Resource Management, Healthcare/organization & administration , Critical Care/ethics , Critical Care/organization & administration , Critical Care/standards , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Surge Capacity/standards , Triage/ethics , Triage/organization & administration , Triage/standards , United States/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations
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