A Critical Care Transport Program's Innovative Approach to Safety During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Eric Garfinkel, Sandra Lopez, Ruben Troncoso, David Leon, Heidi Hubble, Chad Bowman, Asa Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in the frequent transfer of critically ill patients, yet there is little information available to assist critical care transport programs in protecting their clinicians from disease exposure in this unique environment. The Lifeline Critical Care Transport Program has implemented several novel interventions to reduce the risk of staff exposure. Methods: Several safety interventions were implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. These initiatives included the deployment of a transport safety officer, a receiving clean team for select interfacility transports, and modifications in personal protective equipment. Results: From February 29, 2020, to August 29, 2020, there were 1,041 transports of persons under investigation, 660 (63.4%) of whom were ultimately found to be COVID-19 positive. Approximately one third were ground transports, 11 (1.1%) were by air, and the remainder were intrahospital transports. There were 0 documented staff exposures or illnesses during the study period. Conclusion: The adaptation of these safety measures resulted in 0 staff exposures or illnesses while maintaining a high-volume, high-acuity critical care transport program. These interventions are the first of their kind to be implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and offer a framework for other organizations and future disease outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAir Medical Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency

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