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E’ andato tutto bene?

19 Mag

La tempesta COVID 19 ci ha travolto come società civile e come professionisti sanitari. La reazione delle istituzione è stata globalmente inadeguata. Tale inadeguatezza è apparsa subito palese dai numerosi messaggi, ambigui e spesso contraddittori che provenivano da coloro i quali dovevano essere i nostri punti di riferimento istituzionale ed invece apparivano incapaci di tracciare un percorso condiviso credibile

Abbiamo avuto la sensazione che proclami e direttive più o meno ufficiali fossero reattivi a stati di momentanea isteria collettiva e non una tappa sul percorso di una lucida gestione dell’emergenza.

Dopo il primo momento di sbandamento tutti noi abbiamo dovuto elaborare un nostro piano di “sopravvivenza” di fronte all’evidente incapacità dei nostri apparati direttivi. Questo è avvenuto nella nostra vita privata ma sopratutto nella nostra vita professionale

Il 118 è un sistema particolare; è paragonabile ad un organismo composto da cellule e tessuti che costituiscono organi ed apparati autonomi (centrale operativa, ambulanze medicalizzate automediche, ambulanze infermieristiche, elisoccorso) governati da una “testa” che spesso non comunica e non percepisce le sensazioni che provengono dalla periferia.

Alla stregua di un organismo paradossalmente deafferentato senza meccanismi di feedback efficaci, mentre nei periodi di “pace” va avanti per sostanziale inerzia, nei momenti di tempesta è paragonabile ad una nave senza nocchiero destinata a schiantarsi contro gli scogli o nella più fortunata delle ipotesi essere trascinata alla deriva.

Ma nell’emergenza COVID gli organi di questa chimera organizzativa, la ciurma di questa nave senza nocchiero hanno trovato un’emostasi, un governo spontaneo del vuoto immenso che li ha circondati. Ora, a differenza di ordinarie carenze di leadership a cui siamo abituati in modo atavico, sono state minacciate la nostra salute personale, quella dei nostri familiari e la qualità delle cure che potevamo fornire ai nostri pazienti.

Chiamatelo egoismo, chiamatelo spirito di sopravvivenza chiamatela etica professionale. Insomma chiamatelo come volete ma noi alla fine ci siamo organizzati, proteggendoci e continuando a curare i nostri pazienti con dedizione ed efficienza.

Abbiamo risposto alla valanga di chiamate non urgenti con la stessa pazienza e professionalità di sempre, ci siamo vestiti da teltubbies con maschere da snorkeling “cornute”, abbiamo coperto la testa dei pazienti con teli di nylon, ci siamo messi i sacchetti del supermercato come soprascarpe.

Lo abbiamo fatto da soli con il vento contro. Lo abbiamo fatto a favore dei nostri pazienti attaccati con i denti alla nostra competenza. Lo abbiamo fatto nonostante coloro che dovevano non ci abbiano mai supportato ed anzi hanno preteso di dirci come dovevamo fare il nostro “sporco” lavoro (senza averlo mai fatto) a colpi di direttive inapplicabili firmate con guanti candidi calate dal chiuso di uffici lontani e mai accessibili.

Ora tutto cambierà perché noi non dimenticheremo. Ci ricorderemo nomi, cognomi e facce. Ci ricorderemo quello che avete fatto ma sopratutto quello che non avete fatto.

Perché il ricordo non porta rancore o spirito di vendetta ma ci insegnerà a ripartire ed a non essere come voi.

Perché i nostri pazienti meritano una stagione di cure diversa in cui la sanità territoriale sia un’alternativa vera e non solo un proclama elettorale.

Noi del 118 ci saremo. Ci saranno i medici, gli infermieri e gli operatori sanitari.

Perché noi ce l’abbiamo fatta mentre voi no.

Beyond Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Do we have to change our practice in COVID Era?

3 Mag

Main changes in recommendations

Personal Protective Equipment for Advanced Life Support interventions need to be at maximum level of protection of full body, eyes and airways.

CAT 3 level of protection 4 (at least) for the full body

FPP2/N95 airway filter for team members who are NOT directly involved in airway management, ventilation or manual chest compressions

FPP3/N99 airway filter for providers who are directly involved in airway management, ventilation and manual chest compressions.

Face shield and protective googles are strongly suggested

Mechanical Chest compressors devices are the gold standard to perform cardiac massage. They reduce contacts and contamination risk and team member exposure to contaminants.

Adhesive disposable pads are the only option to check rhythm and deliver shock. Dispose non-disposable, manual pads.

Passive O2 administration (via simple face mack at a rate of 15l/m) during chest compressions is the first option over bag mask ventilation when performing Basic Life Support waiting for advanced airway management.When using a Bag Valve Mask always put a HEPA/HME filter between Bag and mask to avoid contamination

Hold chest compressions when performing airway managment

Cover patient head with a transparent plastic foil to minimise virus spreading and contamination when performing airway management and bag mask ventilation

Tracheal intubation using a video laryngoscope is the first line option for advanced airway management to minimise contamination.

If video laryngoscope is not available Extraglottic devices are an acceptable first line option

Use all the implementation to improve intubation first passage success:

Video laringoscopy

Bougie

RAMP positioning

Suctioning (SALAD technique)

Use all the implementation to improve Extraglottic device placement

Laryngoscope for tongue displacement and mouth opening (DO NOT USE hands)

Deflate cuff

Lubrificate the device

Whatever plan you apply use an HEPA/HME filter immediately after the ventilation device

Use disposable cover and disposable gel to perform Ultrasound during chest compressions

Airway management in COVID-19 era

9 Apr
Video

Supporto respiratorio non invasivo e gestione delle vie aeree in epoca COVID

2 Apr

Respiratory support in suspected COVID-19 patients. When conventional O2 therapy is not enough!

20 Mar

We talk about evidences on respiratory support in the dyspneic and moderately/severe hypoxic suspect COVID-19 patient on the field. Clinical evidences and contamination risks in the potentially infected COV 19 patients to guide our efforts toward a good outcome when the conventional O2 therapy is not enough.

A step backward

The COVID-19 pneumonia. More than a “baby lung”

Clinical features and Imaging in early phases

  • Mild dyspnea
  • Severe hypoxia
  • Low P/F ratio
  • Respiratory failure
  • Lung failure
  • ARDS pattern
  • Ground glass
  • Crazy paving

Clinical characteristics and imaging manifestations of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19):A multi-center study in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang, China

The imaging pattern of multifocal peripheral ground glass or mixed opacity with predominance in the lower lung is highly suspicious of COVID-19 in the first week of disease onset. 

Lung mechanics

  • High compliance
  • Low driving pressure
  • Reclutability
  • PEEP responsive

Evidences of clinical features of OneLevel (CPAP) and BiLevel (BiPAP) respiratory support in massive epidemic crisis.

Not much of that. NIV in SARS and MERS epidemic demonstrated a poor outcome over invasive mechanical ventilation and possible delay effect on tracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation.

Noninvasive ventilation in critically ill patients with the Middle East respiratory syndrome. Basem M. Alraddadi et al. Influenza Other Respi Viruses. 2019;13:382–390

The vast majority (92.4%) of patients who were managed initially with NIV re‐ quired intubation and invasive mechanical ventilation, and were more likely to require inhaled nitric oxide compared to those who were managed initially with invasive MV. ICU and hospital length of stay were similar between NIV patients and invasive MV patients. The use of NIV was not independently associated with 90‐day mortality (propensity score‐adjusted odds ratio 0.61, 95% CI [0.23, 1.60] P = 0.27).

Clinical features OneLevel respiratory support

  • It’s not a ventilation but a spontaneous breathing on a fixed one expiratory level pressure. No inspiratory support.
  • Give a tritrable PEEP in the highly reclutable and “PEEP responsive” COVID-19 lung

Clinical features BiLevel respiratory support

  • It’s a proper ventilation on two level pressure
  • Give expiratory and inspiratory support with a tritrable driving pressure

Risk benefits assessment

More risk patient level
  • Patient may become agitated or combative due to hypoxia
  • Patient PPE must be removed
  • Clinicians are in close proximity to the patient’s airway
  • Aerosol generating events are more likely
More risk device level
  • High flow oxygen
  • Aerosol generation procedure
  • Poor mask sealing
  • Continuous manipulation at the mask/strap level to optimise sealing and patients compliance
Droplet spreading. OneLevel VS BiLevel respiratory support

DSC Hui, MTV Chan, B Chow. Aerosol dispersion during various respiratory therapies: a risk assessment model of nosocomial infection to health care workers. Hong Kong Med J 2014;20(Suppl 4):S9-13

When inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP) increased from 10 to 18 cmH2O, the exhaled air of a low normalised concentration through the ComfortFull 2 mask increased from 0.65 to 0.85 m at a direction perpendicular to the head of the HPS along the median sagittal plane. In contrast, when an IPAP of 10 cmH2O was applied via the Image 3 mask connected to the whisper swivel exhalation port, the exhaled air dispersed to 0.95 m towards the end of the bed along the median sagittal plane, whereas a higher IPAP resulted in wider spread of a higher concentration of smoke (….) It is also important to avoid the use of higher IPAP, which could lead to wider distribution of exhaled air and substantial room contamination.

Prehospital strategy and practical tips

When high flow conventional O2 therapy is not enough to reach clinical goals in the highly risk patient, non otherwise transportable and at risk of rapidly loosing airway patency One level PEEP respiratory support (CPAP) is the best compromise between clinical efficacy and contamination risk.

Ventilatory inspiratory support (BiPAP) doesn’t add much from a clinical point of view and increase the risk of contamination so has to be avoided.

Practical tips when using CPAP on the field

  • Use a non ventilated elbow to prevent risk of dissemination
  • Use a filter between the mask and the patient to prevent risk of contamination
References
  1. Wenjie Yang et al. Clinical characteristics and imaging manifestations of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19):A multi-center study in Wenzhou city, Zhejiang, China. Journal of Infection. 2020
  2. Hui DS, Chow BK, NG SS, et al. Exhaled air dispersion distances during noninvasive ventilation via different Respironics face masks. Chest 2009;136:998-1005.
  3. Randy S. Wax, MD. Practical recommendations for critical care and anesthesiology teams caring for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) patients, Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12630-020-01591-x
  4. WHO. Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) when COVID-19 disease is suspected. Interim guidance 13 March 2020
  5. Xiaobo Yang, Yuan Yu. Clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective, observational study. http://www.thelancet.com/respiratory
  6. David J Brewster , Nicholas C Chrimes. Consensus statement: Safe Airway Society principles of airway management and tracheal intubation specific to the COVID-19 adult patient group.

COVID-19 and O2 therapy. Initial prehospital approach in mild symptomatic patients.

16 Mar

General considerations (dyspneic non infective patients)

Self Protection 

The generic dyspneic patients do not pose any particular self protection issues above the general precautions

Clinical needs

Non infected dyspneic patient need moderately high FiO2 but considerately high oxygen flow rates. 

The available systems we have in this moment (at least on my operative setting) to deliver normally pressured O2 are:

  1. Nasal cannula
    • Maximum gas flow 15 l/m
    • FiO2 variable between 25-45% 
  2. Simple face mask
    • Maximum gas flow 15 l/m 
    • FiO2 variable between 40-60% at the mask level
  3. Nonrebreather face mask (reservoir)
    • Maximum gas flow 15 l/m
    • FiO2 more 80-100%
  4. Venturi mask 
    • Gas flow between 40 to over 80 l/m
    • FiO2 titratable between 24% and 60%management-devices-fio2-oxygen-delivery-original

To satisfy the increased minute ventilation of the highly dyspneic patient Venturi mask is the best device (high flow rate) and permits at the same time to tritrate the FiO2 based on the patients need avoiding indiscriminate hyperoxygenation. 


Particular considerations in dyspneic potentially infective COVID-19 patients

Disclaimer

The following considerations derived from our initial experience on the field in suspect or confirmed COVID-19 with respiratory symptoms at their presentation or in the initial phases. Those are the majority of the patients we observed till the day this post was written. 

The following considerations are not intended for all the severe hypoxic patients who definitively need early intubation and positive pressure ventilation.

Clinical needs

Those are dyspneic hypoxic patients who needs moderately high FiO2 and request more gas flow rates to satisfy increased minute ventilation.

So from an exclusively clinical point of view the best way to deliver oxygen it would be a Venturi mask. 

Self Protection 

In the actual situation in Italy the epidemiological geographical criteria is no more reliable to identify COVID-19 patients so any prehospital healthcare professional providing direct care to a dyspneic patient needs to be protected al least with:

    • Eye protection or Facial shield
    • Medical mask 
    • Disposable gown
    • Disposable gloves

At the same time good practice is to reduce at minimum the number of direct caring providers, to maintain, if possible, a security distance > 1 mt,  to invite any patient to wear, if tolerated, a surgical mask,  and a pair of disposable gloves to minimise the risk of infection. 

When providing direct care of dyspneic patients who needs O2 therapy the level of risk for droplet diffusion is generally increased cause of the presence of the gas flow. 

All the available systems for oxygen delivery we mentioned above are open and allow a free exaltation of the patient in the surrounding area and potentially exposes all the healthcare caregivers to an increased risk of contamination cause of the augmented droplet dispersion and to a lack of protection.


Considerations 

So when dealing with O2 therapy in the potentially infected patients we need to consider the relationship between risk of contamination and clinical efficacy of any device.

Nasal Cannula

  • Oxygenation –—+
  • Protection ++++

Nasal Cannula is the only device that permits the patient to wear a surgical mask on nose and mouth,  decreasing droplet diffusion and protecting the healthcare team and at the same time maintains a certain clinical efficacy..

So my first approach is Nasal Cannula underneath a medical mask. 

Utilising a different device than nasal cannula plus medical mask on the patient mouth and nose (simple, non rebreather or Venturi face mask) to deliver oxygen therapy all healthcare professionals need to be aware that the risk infection increases and the patient has no barriers and so they have to consider improving his own self protection level (N95, FPP2 mask at least)

Simple/Non rebreather Facial Mask 

  • Oxygenation —++
  • Protection ++–

When you can’t reach a clinical acceptable SpO2 with nasal cannula we need to downgrade on our first goal (protection) to achieve a better clinical outcome. 

Simple facial masks maintain a moderate protection form droplet spreading with a more clinical efficacy respect th the nasal cannula.

Nonrebreather facial mask either moderately protects against droplet diffusion with an improvement in FiO2 above simple face mask but the nonrebreather bag is a potential expirate gas reservoir potentially  increasing the risk of spreading.

Venturi mask

  • Oxygenation -++++
  • Protection —-+

High flow titratable FiO2 in an open system mask can satisfy all minute ventilation needing guaranteeing Oxygenation at a cost of a great risk of spreading. My last choice in the scale of conventional Oxygen therapy.

 

References:

DSC Hui,  MTV Chan, B Chow. Aerosol dispersion during various respiratory therapies: a risk assessment model of nosocomial infection to health care workers. Hong Kong Med J 2014;20(Suppl 4):S9-13

M. P. Wan , C. Y. H. Chao , Y. D. Ng , G. N. Sze To & W. C. Yu (2007) Dispersion of Expiratory Droplets in a General Hospital Ward with Ceiling Mixing Type Mechanical Ventilation System, Aerosol Science and Technology, 41:3, 244-258, DOI: 10.1080/02786820601146985

Shu-An Lee, Dong-Chir Hwang, He-Yi Li, Chieh-Fu Tsai, Chun-Wan Chen,and Jen-Kun Chen. Particle Size-Selective Assessment of Protection of
European Standard FFP Respirators and Surgical Masks against Particles-Tested with Human Subjects
. Journal of Healthcare Engineering. Volume 2016, Article ID 8572493, 12 pages

Thanks for reviewing and suggesting to: Scott Weingart, Jim DuCanto, Velia Marta Antonini, Giacomo Magagnotti, Andrea Paoli and all the other colleagues and friends who supported this post

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