Turkish Journal of Anaesthesiology & Reanimation
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

On-the-job safety during enlarging an intensive care unit for the COVID-19 pandemic: team-based approach with a low infection rate of the staff

1.

Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, "F. Tappeiner" Hospital, Merano, Italy

2.

Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine, Eurac Research, Bolzano, Italy

3.

Independent Researcher, Ora, Italy

4.

Technical Department, "F. Tappeiner" Hospital, Merano, Italy

5.

Department of Anaesthesia, Cantonal Hospital, Lucerne, Switzerland

6.

Paracelsus Medical University, Department of Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine and Intensive Care, Salzburg, Austria

Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim 1; 1: -
DOI: 10.5152/TJAR.2021.21116
Read: 146 Downloads: 97 Published: 08 November 2021

Aims
Healthcare workers had a 7.4-fold risk of severe coronavirus disease-19 than non-essential employees in the UK during the first phase of the pandemic. We describe interdisciplinary measures for increasing on-the-job safety used during the first phase of the pandemic in an Italian hospital.
Methods
We converted an intensive care / intermediate care unit into a fully equipped 16 bed ICU with adjustments for infection control and on-the-job safety within four days. We compare our actions with a recently published concept on team management in the pandemic and describe implementation of each issue. It was our principal goal in this completely unknown emergency to guarantee safety for both staff and patients. We defined independent pathways for staff, patients, material, and waste. Clear procedures were defined for protecting the employees and for creating a working environment that minimizes mistakes despite challenging conditions.
Results
From March 7th to April 29th, we treated 34 mechanically ventilated patients in our intensive care unit with a mean bed occupancy rate of 62%. The team worked in the upgraded ICU with an increased perception of safety. After cessation of the first wave of the pandemic, we tested the department's entire staff for antibodies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Two of 122 (1.6%) team members developed anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies during the intensive care unit's running time.
Conclusions
The successful implementation of theoretical concepts on team management into clinical practice was crucial for staff safety and on-the-job safety during the pandemic.
Cite this article as: Rauch S, Regli IB, Salazar BM, Seraglio P, Zanovello M, Schüpfer G, Bock M. On-the-job safety during enlarging an intensive care unit for the COVID-19 pandemic: team-based approach with a low infection rate of the staff. Turk J Anaesthesiol Reanim. 2021; Doi: 10.5152/TJAR.2021.21116

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EISSN 2667-6370