Bracing the Emergency Department for the COVID-19 Era
The COVID-19 pandemic in a matter of few months has wreaked havoc across the globe. However as per the WHO, the worst may not be over yet and COVID-19 is going to stay with us for a long time. The coronavirus is highly contagious, and in the current scenario containment measures in the form of lockdowns and curfew may only be useful in transiently flattening the curve and not disease elimination. The absence of an effective vaccine and/or treatment, means that morbidity and mortality associated with COVID-19 is going to increase in the foreseeable future. For the emergency physicians (EPs) working on the frontlines, the battle may have just begun. Any patient coming to emergency room (ER), with COVID-19 related symptoms or otherwise, could be a potential source for the spread of coronavirus infection in the hospital. With most of the ER’s being overcrowded, the place itself will act as amplifier which could lead to a catastrophe. Ever since the beginning of this pandemic, our focus has completely shifted to only COVID-19 related symptoms which is proving detrimental for the other non-COVID emergencies. We hereby put forth certain possible solutions which may be useful for the smooth functioning of our emergency departments (EDs).
2. Lien WC, Tseng WP, Ko PC, Chen SY, Tsai MS, Chang WT, et al. Fight COVID-19 Beyond the Borders: Emergency Department Patient Diversion in Taiwan. Ann Emerg Med. 2020; [Epub ahead of print].
3. Shortage of personal protective equipment endangering health workers worldwide. Accessed April 22, 2020. [Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/03-03-2020-shortage-of-personal-protec tive-equipment-endangering-health-workers-worldwide].
4. Chauhan V, Galwankar S, Arquilla B, Garg M, Di Somma S, El-Menyar A, et al. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19): Leveraging telemedicine to optimize care while minimizing exposures and viral transmission. J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2020;13(1):20-24.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Healthcare Settings - NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic. Accessed April 19, 2020. [Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/r ecommendedguidanceextuse.html].
6. Zhao J, Yuan Q, Wang H, Liu W, Liao X, Su Y, et al. Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in patients of novel coronavirus disease 2019. Clin Infect Dis. 2020:ciaa344.
7. Hogan CA, Sahoo MK, Pinsky BA. Sample Pooling as a Strategy to Detect Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2. JAMA. 2020;[Epub ahead of print].
8. Castelletti S. A Shift on the Front Line. N Engl J Med. 2020;[Epub ahead of print].
9. Cunningham CO, Diaz C, Slawek DE. COVID-19: The Worst Days of Our Careers. Ann Intern Med. 2020:M20-1715.
This journal be published an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits anyone to copy, redistribute, remix, transmit and adapt the work provided the original work and source is appropriately cited.