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Trauma Centers Made New Processes for Optimal Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2021 -- Level I trauma centers have created a process to provide optimal care for trauma patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published in the January/February issue of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Laura Harwood, R.N., from St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado, and colleagues describe multicenter trauma care process changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic at six level I trauma centers. Centers were surveyed and asked about personal protective equipment, ventilators, intensive care unit (ICU) beds, and negative pressure rooms.

The researchers found that N-95 respirators were reused by 67 percent of respondents; 50 percent sanitized them, and 25 percent sanitized them with ultraviolet light. Regional resources were impacted in one hospital (17 percent). Ventilator allocation protocols were created in 33 percent of the centers. Fifty percent of hospitals tracked ventilator use. Sixty-seven percent of hospitals requested more ventilators: 50 and 17 percent in anticipation of a surge and in response to low resources, respectively. Most hospitals (83 percent) designated more beds to the ICU; an ICU was designated for COVID-19 patients in 50 percent of the hospitals. At all hospitals, COVID-19 patients were isolated in negative pressure rooms.

"Without specific guidelines for trauma care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this study summarized the processes that participating trauma centers developed to protect the trauma patient and trauma care providers while providing optimal trauma care for patients," the authors write.

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Posted: January 2021

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