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Ventilator Management in the Age of COVID-19

Ventilator Management in the Age of COVID-19

In the age of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), conservation of personal protective equipment (PPE) represents an urgent public health priority. Vargas et al. describe a logistic project and organizational plan to prevent the in-hospital spread of COVID-19.

We build upon their approach by discussing another strategy to reduce infection among healthcare workers in the intensive care unit.

Ventilator settings are manipulated at bedside at least two to four times daily; this requires close patient contact for several minutes on each occasion.

Data on coronaviridae suggest that the risk of transmission is directly proportional to the duration of exposure in the absence of PPE.

Decreasing direct patient contact may therefore reduce hospital-acquired infections. Furthermore, bedside management of ventilator settings requires PPE that must be discarded after each use; this can rapidly deplete the number of available respirators and other items in short supply.

June 12, 2020

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