Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as a ceiling of care treatment for hypoxemic respiratory failure due to COVID-19 (2021)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Patrick Bradley , *Jennifer Nixon , James Wilson , James Redfern , Tarek Saba , Emily Nuttall, Thomas Bongers

Citation:
Journal of the Intensive Care Society 2021, Vol. 0(0), 1–3 [epub ahead of print]

Abstract:
Among patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in the UK, 10% develop severe hypoxemic respiratory failure managed with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). Much interest has focused on non-invasive strategies to avert progression to IMV. UK guidelines recommend the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), including in patients for whom IMV is not appropriate. However, other nations have recommended against the use of CPAP, and within the UK, CPAP use has varied widely (personal communication). The greatest burden of COVID-19 disease is carried by older patients with comorbidities, many of whom are deemed unsuitable for IMV and critical care. However, it is unclear whether they might benefit from CPAP. The RECOVERY-RS trial is investigating the efficacy of CPAP and high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) in severely hypoxic patients with COVID-19, but will not complete until late 2021, and excludes patients unsuitable for IMV. Current evidence is limited to cohort studies of heterogeneous patient groups, with no published data focussing on patients for whom CPAP is the ceiling-of-care. Physicians caring for such patients, and those involved in planning the delivery of CPAP services, must balance any potential benefits of CPAP against its burden on patients, families, staff, and services. Therefore data in this patient population are urgently needed.

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Regional experiences of endotracheal intubation during the COVID-19 pandemic in The United Kingdom (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
Shuker B.; Smith E.; *Checketts P.; Khan Q.

Citation:
Intensive Care Medicine Experimental; 2020; vol. 8

Abstract:
Introduction: In the United Kingdom (UK), consensus guidelines for airway management were published early in the COVID-19 pandemic making recommendations to support clinicians during this potentially challenging intervention (1). Adaptions to existing guidance for airway management in critically ill adults from the Difficult Airway Society (2) included: use of personal protective equipment (PPE), preferential use of the best skilled airway manager to maximise chance of first-pass success, avoidance of aerosol-generating procedures (such as noninvasive ventilation, high flow nasal oxygenation), and use of reliable well practiced techniques (including videolaryngoscopy where appropriate). Objective(s): Areas of the West Midlands were some of the worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK (3). We aimed to gain insight into the experiences of clinicians involved with airway management during the COVID-19 pandemic in this region. Method(s): An online survey was distributed to multiple centres within the West Midlands region of the UK. Clinicians who had experience of endotracheal intubation in patients with confirmed, suspected, or unknown COVID-19 status were asked to reflect upon their experience of one patient intubation. Result(s): 127 clinicians from 16 hospitals including 3 large university hospitals responded to the online survey, most were consultant grade (56.7%). Clinicians self-reported an average approximate number of pandemic intubations of 7.35 (range 1-30). When asked to reflect on a single intubation, clinicians reflected on intubations in ICU (42.5%), emergency departments (20.5%), wards (8.7%), and theatre (28.3%). Appropriate PPE was available in 96.1%. The most senior clinician available intubated in 65.4%. Clinicians reported first pass success in 93.7% of responses. Most intubators reported use of videolaryngoscopy (74.8%), however 26% reported not using this equipment regularly and 5.5% did not feel confident with their equipment. Despite a high success rate, difficulties were reported in 15.1%. The most common was desaturation. Other common difficulties included equipment or environment unfamiliarity, lack of skilled support. When asked what advice they would give to colleagues, frequently occurring themes included: ensuring familiarity with equipment, use of a checklist, use of videolaryngoscopy, and availability of a second intubator. Desire for simulation and equipment familiarisation was highlighted in multiple responses, and in one example a clinician attributed their success to a simulation session performed in the week prior. Conclusion(s): Experiences from clinicians in this region highlight the specific challenges encountered involved in airway management of patients with COVID-19, in particular highlighting the importance of advance preparation for intubation when faced with unfamiliar circumstances. Simulation sessions, use of checklists and standard operating procedures for emergency intubation may contribute to maintaining preparedness for intubation in this challenging patient group.

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Intensive care unit (ICU) referrals and admissions at a district general hospital (DGH) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Blair J.; *Naughton E.; *Pradhan N.

Citation:
Intensive Care Medicine Experimental; 2020; vol. 8

Abstract:
Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in ICU referrals and admissions across the UK during 2020 [1]. Intensive care beds are a limited and expensive resource and decisions on patient admission are often very challenging [2]. Proformas help to standardise documentation and decision logging during patient referrals [3]. They provide easily accessible evidence in case of a future referral and allow audit of decision-making processes. A preliminary survey of doctors working in a DGH ICU was undertaken to assess the current referral and admission process in expectation of an increased volume of work.
Objective(s): As a result of the survey, three main areas for improvement were identified: 1. To maintain a record of all ICU referrals and decision-making processes 2. To reduce the time taken for documentation of referrals and admissions 3. To improve the quality and appropriateness of referrals from parent specialities Methods: A proforma was designed for dual use as a referral and admission document. All referrals were recorded on paper and staff received training on how to apply the proforma. After assessment of each referral, irrespective of admission outcome, a completed copy of the proforma was placed in both the patient’s notes and a dedicated referrals folder. After one month, a further survey was designed to assess the response postimplementation of the proforma. All referrals made over a threemonth period between April and June 2020 were audited.
Result(s): The initial survey received 12 responses. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, documentation of any referral or admission took on average 10-15 minutes. All survey participants felt that referring teams did not have a good understanding of the role of ICU care and estimated that up to 40% of all referrals received were inappropriate. The follow-up survey received 14 responses. Implementation of the proforma reduced the time taken to document a referral or admission on average by 5-10 minutes. Twelve participants found the proforma a useful aid, helping to provide clear documentation and ease communication between ICU team members. Less than 9% of the referrals made between April and June 2020 were admitted to ICU with over 32% of referrals deemed unsuitable for further escalation. Approximately 50% of referrals were made by registrars, with 13% discussed by consultants. The median age of patients referred was 67.5 and the most common reason was for respiratory deterioration.
Conclusion(s): This quality improvement project successfully reduced the time taken to document ICU referrals and admissions. Use of a proforma has provided many benefits, including standardisation of documentation, decision logging and improvement of intra-and inter-team communication. Only a small proportion of patients referred to ICU have been suitable for admission. A teaching session is being designed so that referral information can be fed-back to parent specialties. Referrals will be reaudited after this. Data analysis of this project has been limited by incomplete proforma documentation from participating users.

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A Tidal volume calculator to improve lung protective ventilation in COVID-19 related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Author(s):
*Blair J.; *Hester S.; Baldwin A.; Ali T.

Citation:
Intensive Care Medicine Experimental; 2020; vol. 8

Abstract:
Introduction: Routine use of lower tidal volumes (TVs) for the mechanical ventilation of patients with ARDS results in decreased mortality and increases the number of days without ventilator use [1]. Severe COVID-19 pneumonia has been associated with the development of ARDS as characterised by the Berlin definition [2]. A multi-centre preliminary audit was undertaken to identify whether ventilated COVID-19 related ARDS patients were receiving optimal TVs, as recommended by the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) and Intensive Care Society (ICS) ARDS management guidelines [3]. Objective(s): As a result of the audit, three main areas for improvement were identified. 1. To achieve accurate calculations for ideal body weight (IBW) and target TV 2. To improve documentation of IBW and target TV 3. To achieve TVs no greater than 6 ml/kg Methods: A ‘tidal volume calculator’ tool was developed using Microsoft Excel, which was simple, colour coded and kept on all Intensive Care Unit (ICU) computer desktops. This tool was designed to use height to calculate IBW and, if the patient’s height was unavailable, could also be utilised to calculate height from ulna length. IBW was subsequently used to calculate a target TV. Staff received training on how to apply the tool. Two snapshot audits were carried out in April and May 2020 at two ICUs. The first was conducted prior to the tool’s introduction with the second two weeks after its implementation. All patients receiving mechanical ventilation, except those spontaneously breathing, were included. Data was extracted from patient notes, charts and ventilator settings. Result(s): The initial audit included 14 patients. Six patients did not have an IBW documented. Three patients had documented IBWs that were 12 kg, 15 kg and 23 kg greater than the weight calculated using the tool, leading to increased tidal volume targets. Only three patients were achieving TVs of 4-6 ml/kg. Eleven patients were achieving a TV greater than 6 ml/kg, with two of these achieving a TV of greater than 8 ml/kg. The follow-up audit included ten patients. This revealed that all patients had an IBW clearly documented. Moreover, nine patients were achieving TVs within 4-6 ml/kg, with only one patient found to be achieving a TV greater than 6 ml/kg. Conclusion(s): This audit cycle revealed that initially adherence to lung protective ventilation and documentation of IBW was poor. In some instances, documented IBW was vastly different to the calculated IBW, suggesting that in these situations actual body weight may have been used. In a time when clinicians were being redeployed to support ICU, this simple tool was shown to support staff by clearly calculating and displaying IBW and target TV for reference. This directly led to improved adherence to lung protective ventilation and optimisation of patient care. Limitations include that no consideration was made for overall patient outcome, and only a snapshot of achieved TVs from ventilators were recorded; daily/weekly trends were not studied.

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Oral and maxillofacial surgery patient satisfaction with telephone consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Horgan T.J.; *Alsabbagh A.Y.; *McGoldrick D.M.; *Bhatia S.K.; *Messahel A.

Citation:
The British journal of oral & maxillofacial surgery; Apr 2021; vol. 59 (no. 3); p. 335-340

Abstract:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic most oral and maxillofacial surgical (OMFS) units have moved to conducting patient consultations over the telephone. The aim of this study was to assess patients’ satisfaction with telephone consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic. A retrospective survey was conducted of OMFS patients at our hospital who had telephone consultations between 1 April – 8 June 2020. The survey was conducted by independent interviewers and used the Generic Medical Interview Satisfaction Scale (G-MISS) along with a previously published additional questionnaire. Variables recorded included age, gender, theme of consultation, grade of clinician, and type of consultation. Statistical analysis was performed to assess for any differences between patient groups. The records of 150 consecutive patients were reviewed and 135 met inclusion criteria. A total of 109 patients completed the survey giving a response rate of 80.74%. The total G-MISS score for satisfaction was high, which indicates a high level of satisfaction among all patients. We found no statistical difference in satisfaction when comparing patients in terms of gender, age, theme of consultation, or level of clinician. A significant difference was found in compliance levels between review and new patients, with review patients demonstrating higher compliance levels (p=0.004). Overall, 83.48% of patients said they would be willing to have a telephone consultation in future. The majority of patients in this study reported high levels of satisfaction with telephone consultations. New patients reported lower levels of compliance which may suggest this type of consultation is less suited to telephone consultation.

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Coronavirus Disease 2019: the Pivotal Role of UK Clinical Oncology and the UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project (2021)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Best ; Starkey, T.; *Chatterjee, A.; Fackrell, D.; *Pettit, L.; *Srihari, N.; Tween, H.; Olsson-Brown, A.; Cheng, V.; Hughes, D.J.; Lee, A.J.X.; Purshouse, K.; Arnold, R.; UK Coronavirus Cancer Monitoring Project Team; Sivakumar, S.; Cazier, J.-B.; Lee, L.Y.W.

Citation:
Clinical Oncology; Jan 2021; vol. 33 (no. 1)

Abstract:

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Managing diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Morris, David

Citation:
Practice Nursing; Nov 2020; vol. 31 (no. 11); p. 450-455

Abstract:
People with diabetes are known to be more severely affected by COVID-19 than the general population. David
Morris provides an overview of how to manage the illness in this group The outbreak of a new viral infection in
Wuhan, a city in Habei Province, China, became evident in December 2019. For most individuals who contract
COVID-19 the disease is mild to moderate. Older people are disproportionately affected with serious disease,
while children appear less likely to experience serious illness. A number of conditions are linked to increased
severity of disease and poorer outcomes including both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This article looks at why
those with diabetes are at higher risk, and how to manage diabetes during the pandemic.

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Lessons of the month: Co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 and influenza B virus in a patient with community-acquired pneumonia (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
*Coutinho A.; *Riaz A.; *Makan A.; *Crawford E.; *Dev D.; *Srinivasan K.; *Ahmad N.; *Moudgil H.

Citation:
Clinical medicine (London, England); Nov 2020; vol. 20 (no. 6); e262–3

Abstract:
Why we only infrequently detect or report two or more respiratory viruses co-infecting an adult host is poorly understood. We report a rare case where influenza B and SARS-CoV-2 caused viral pneumonia in a 74-year-old man diagnosed during the UK winter epidemic/pandemic for these organisms and discuss concepts of co-infection.

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Emotional Resilience and Bariatric Surgical Teams: a Priority in the Pandemic (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Graham, Yitka; Mahawar, Kamal; *Riera, Manel; Islam, Omar; Bhasker, Aparna Ghovil; Wilson, Michael; Tahrani, Abd; Moize, Violeta; Leal, Angela; Hayes, Catherine

Citation:
Obesity Surgery; Apr 2021; vol. 31 (no. 4); p. 1887-1890

Abstract:
The infection control measures implemented as a result of COVID-19 led to a postponement of bariatric surgical procedures across many countries worldwide. Many bariatric surgical teams were in essence left without a profession, with many redeployed to other areas of clinical care and were not able to provide the levels of patient support given before COVID-19. As the pandemic continues, some restrictions have been lifted, with staff adjusting to new ways of working, incorporating challenging working conditions and dealing with continuing levels of stress. This article explores the concept of emotional labour, defined as ‘inducing or suppressing feelings in order to perform one’s work’, and its application to multidisciplinary teams working within bariatric surgery, to offer insight into the mental health issues that may be affecting healthcare professionals working in this discipline.

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Impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on urgent referrals to secondary care otolaryngology: a prospective case series (2020)

Type of publication:
Journal article

Author(s):
Osborne M.S.; Bentley E.; Farrow A.; Murphy J.; *Chan J.

Citation:
Journal of Laryngology and Otology; 2020 [epub ahead of print]

Abstract:
Objective. As the novel coronavirus disease 2019 changed patient presentation, this study aimed to prospectively identify these changes in a single ENT centre. Design. A seven-week prospective case series was conducted of urgently referred patients from primary care and accident and emergency department. Results. There was a total of 133 referrals. Referral rates fell by 93 per cent over seven weeks, from a mean of 5.4 to 0.4 per day. Reductions were seen in referrals from both primary care (89 per cent) and the accident and emergency department (93 per cent). Presentations of otitis externa and epistaxis fell by 83 per cent, and presentations of glandular fever, tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess fell by 67 per cent. Conclusion. Coronavirus disease 2019 has greatly reduced the number of referrals into secondary care ENT. The cause for this reduction is likely to be due to patients’ increased perceived risk of the virus presence in a medical setting. The impact of this reduction is yet to be ascertained, but will likely result in a substantial increase in emergency pressures once the lockdown is lifted and the general public’s perception of the coronavirus disease 2019 risk reduces.

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