Update from adult critical care on the experience of COVID-19 so far

Dr Andrew Johnston summarises the experience of adult critical care during the outbreak to date:

Along the with the rest of the organisation, adult critical care has had to change rapidly over the last few weeks to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a lot of hard work and an amazing team effort we have rapidly expanded the number of critical care beds, completely changed our rotas and working patterns, and brought in new equipment and staff so that we can look after the increasing numbers of critically ill patients we are seeing. These are just some of the changes that have been made as part of the initial expansion plans:

All ICU beds have been made into Level 3 beds which means they are able to care for the very sickest patients who require mechanical ventilation and multiple organ support

  •  John Farman ICU and IDA have joined together to form a 32 bed ICU
  • NCCU has expanded from 23 to 28 beds
  • We have made sure that there is a ventilator available for every critical care bed and have utilised anaesthetic machines and ventilators that are usually used for non-invasive ventilation to achieve this
  • We are nearly ready to open a new ICU on ward J3 – this will be able to accommodate up to 26 patients
  • The anaesthetic department has created an intubation team who can immediately attend to any patient who needs to be started on invasive mechanical ventilation

To date, 25 patients have been admitted to critical care with proven Covid-19 and nearly all of these patients have required invasive mechanical ventilation. Some of the patients have been extremely sick and have required very complex multiple organ support and complex respiratory support. Six patients have been successfully discharged to the ward and one patient has been transferred to Royal Papworth Hospital for specialist care. To date, no COVID-19 patient has died in intensive care.

CUH Adult Critical Care and the Rapid Response Team will continue to see any patient who is significantly deteriorating on the ward and will continue to provide intensive care to any patient who would benefit from it. We would like to thank staff from across the organisation for their ongoing support and kindness.