Planning for the assistance of critically ill patients in a Pandemic Situation: The experience of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital

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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin (Engl Ed). 2021 Nov 26:S2529-993X(21)00218-5. doi: 10.1016/j.eimce.2021.11.003. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: In the context of community transmission of the virus, the impact of the pandemic on health-care systems, mainly on intensive care units (ICU), was expected to be devastating. Vall d’Hebron University Hospital (HUVH) implemented an unprecedented critical patient-care planning and management of resources.

METHODS: We describe a cohort of critically ill patients during the first two months of the pandemic (from March 3, 2020, to May 2, 2020) in HUVH, Barcelona. In this manuscript, we report our previsions, strategies implemented, and the outcomes obtained.

RESULTS: Three-thousand and thirty-three patients were admitted to the HUVH Critical Care Units. Throughout the study period, the proportion of patients on IMV or IMV and ECMO remained above 78%. Most patients were men (65%); the most common age group was 60-70 years. Twenty-three patients received ECMO, and eighteen were cannulated at another center and transferred to HUVH. At the end of the study, fourteen patients were successfully decannulated, three patients died, and the rest of the patients were still on ECMO. Eight pregnant women have been treated in the ICU, with a survival rate of 100%. The ICU mortality of patients younger than 60 years was 3.2%. The mean ICU stay of both survivors and nonsurvivors was 14 days.

CONCLUSION: The adequate preparation for resource expansion for critically ill patients care, main challenges, and overall positive results can serve as a precedent for similar future scenarios.

PMID:34872890 | DOI:10.1016/j.eimce.2021.11.003