Respir Care. 2021 Apr 13:respcare-08743. doi: 10.4187/respcare.08743. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, a critical care outreach team was implemented in our hospital to guarantee multidisciplinary patient assessment at admission and prompt ICU support in medical wards. In this paper, we report the activity plan results and describe the baseline characteristics of the referred subjects.
METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated data from 125 subjects referred to the critical care outreach team from March 22 to April 22, 2020. We considered subjects with a ceiling of care decision, with those deemed eligible assigned to level 3 care (ward subgroup), and those deemed ineligible admitted to the ICU (ICU subgroup). Quality indicators of the outreach team plan delivery included number of cardiac arrest calls, number of intubations in level 2 areas, and ineffective palliative support.
RESULTS: We enrolled 125 consecutive adult subjects with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. We did not report any emergency endotracheal intubations in the clinical ward. In the care ceiling subgroup, we had 2 (3.3%) emergency calls for cardiac arrest, whereas signs of ineffective palliative support were reported in 5 subjects (12.5%). Noninvasive forms of respiratory assistance were delivered to 40.0% of subjects in the ward subgroup (median 3 d [interquartile range (IQR) 2-5]), to 45.9% of subjects in the care ceiling subgroup (median 5 d [IQR 3-7]), and to 64.7% of subjects in the ICU subgroup (median 2.5 d [IQR 1-3]). Thirty of the 31 ward subjects (96.7%), 26 of the 34 ICU subjects, (76.4%), and 19 of the 61 ceiling of care subjects (31.1%) were discharged.
CONCLUSIONS: In the context of a hospital and ICU surge, a multidisciplinary daily plan supported by a dedicated critical care outreach team was associated with a low rate of cardiac arrest calls, no emergency intubations in the ward, and appropriate palliative care support for subjects with a ceiling of care decision.