Practical recommendations for critical care and anesthesiology teams caring for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) patients.
A global health emergency has been declared by the World Health Organization as the 2019-nCoV outbreak spreads across the world, with confirmed patients in Canada. Patients infected with 2019-nCoV are at risk for developing respiratory failure and requiring admission to critical care units. While providing optimal treatment for these patients, careful execution of infection control measures is necessary to prevent nosocomial transmission to other patients and to healthcare workers providing care. Although the exact mechanisms of transmission are currently unclear, human-to-human transmission can occur, and the risk of airborne spread during aerosol-generating medical procedures remains a concern in specific circumstances. This paper summarizes important considerations regarding patient screening, environmental controls, personal protective equipment, resuscitation measures (including intubation), and critical care unit operations planning as we prepare for the possibility of new imported cases or local outbreaks of 2019-nCoV. Although understanding of the 2019-nCoV virus is evolving, lessons learned from prior infectious disease challenges such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome will hopefully improve our state of readiness regardless of the number of cases we eventually manage in Canada.
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