• COVID-19 and Lessons to be Learned from Prior Coronavirus Outbreaks

      Deming, M.E.; Chen, W.H. (American Thoracic Society, 2020)
      Coronaviruses are large RNA viruses that are endemic among bats globally. These bat viruses are known to readily recombine and present an ever-present potential to jump host species, allowing for emergence into novel hosts.[1] Four seasonal human coronaviruses (hCoV) circulate yearly as mild “common cold” viruses causing upper respiratory symptoms: OC43, HKU1, NL63, and 229E. Additionally, three novel coronaviruses have emerged as zoonotic human infections in the past 17 years. SARS-coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)[2] have each been associated with lower respiratory symptoms, progressing in a subset of individuals to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and death.
    • A Dedicated Veno-Venous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Unit during a Respiratory Pandemic: Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Part II: Clinical Management

      Shah, Aakash; Dave, Sagar; Galvagno, Samuel; George, Kristen; Menne, Ashley R; Haase, Daniel J; McCormick, Brian; Rector, Raymond; Dahi, Siamak; Madathil, Ronson J; et al. (MDPI AG, 2021-04-21)
      (1) Background: COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) has several distinctions from traditional acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS); however, patients with refractory respiratory failure may still benefit from veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) support. We report our challenges caring for CARDS patients on VV-ECMO and alterations to traditional management strategies. (2) Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of our institutional strategies for managing patients with COVID-19 who required VV-ECMO in a dedicated airlock biocontainment unit (BCU), from March to June 2020. The data collected included the time course of admission, VV-ECMO run, ventilator length, hospital length of stay, and major events related to bleeding, such as pneumothorax and tracheostomy. The dispensation of sedation agents and trial therapies were obtained from institutional pharmacy tracking. A descriptive statistical analysis was performed. (3) Results: Forty COVID-19 patients on VV-ECMO were managed in the BCU during this period, from which 21 survived to discharge and 19 died. The criteria for ECMO initiation was altered for age, body mass index, and neurologic status/cardiac arrest. All cannulations were performed with a bedside ultrasound-guided percutaneous technique. Ventilator and ECMO management were routed in an ultra-lung protective approach, though varied based on clinical setting and provider experience. There was a high incidence of pneumothorax (n = 19). Thirty patients had bedside percutaneous tracheostomy, with more procedural-related bleeding complications than expected. A higher use of sedation was noted. The timing of decannulation was also altered, given the system constraints. A variety of trial therapies were utilized, and their effectiveness is yet to be determined. (4) Conclusions: Even in a high-volume ECMO center, there are challenges in caring for an expanded capacity of patients during a viral respiratory pandemic. Though institutional resources and expertise may vary, it is paramount to proceed with insightful planning, the recognition of challenges, and the dynamic application of lessons learned when facing a surge of critically ill patients.
    • An International Virtual COVID-19 Critical Care Training Forum for Healthcare Workers

      Cypro, Alexander; McGuire, W Cameron; Rolfsen, Mark; Jones, Neal; Shah, Nirav G; Cribbs, Sushma K; Kaul, Viren; Bojanowski, Christine M; Pedraza, Isabel; Lynch, Lauren; et al. (American Thoracic Society, 2021-02-24)
      Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic resulted in redeployment of non-critical care-trained providers to intensive care units across the world. Concurrently, traditional venues for delivery of medical education faced major disruptions. The need for a virtual forum to fill knowledge gaps for healthcare workers caring for patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was apparent in the early stages of the pandemic. Objective: The weekly, open-access COVID-19 Critical Care Training Forum (CCCTF) organized by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) provided a global audience access to timely content relevant to their learning needs. The goals of the forum were threefold: to aid healthcare providers in assessment and treatment of patients with COVID-19, to reduce provider anxiety, and to disseminate best practices. Methods: The first 13 ATS CCCTF sessions streamed live from April to July 2020. Structured debriefs followed each session and participant feedback was evaluated in planning of subsequent sessions. A second set of 14 sessions streamed from August to November 2020. Content experts were recruited from academic institutions across the United States. Results: As of July 2020, the ATS CCCTF had 2,494 live participants and 7,687 downloads for a total of 10,181 views. The majority of participants had both completed training (58.6%) and trained in critical care (53.8%). Physicians made up a majority (82.2%) of the audience that spanned the globe (61% were international attendees). Conclusion: We describe the rapid and successful implementation of an open-access medical education forum to address training and knowledge gaps among healthcare personnel caring for patients with COVID-19.
    • A successful case of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for COVID-19: walking home without oxygen supplementation

      Tran, Dena H; Peng, Carol Chiung-Hui; Wolde-Rufael, Daniel A; Devkota, Hari; Diaz-Abad, Montserrat; Baghdadi, Jonathan; Chow, R Dobbin; Verceles, Avelino C (Taylor and Francis Inc., 2021-06-21)
      Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged from Wuhan, China in December 2019 and is the strain of coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Approximately one-third of the patients with COVID-19 require intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and almost 30% of the patients develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is used as salvage therapy for severe ARDS. The role of ECMO in the treatment of COVID-19 remains unclear, although there is emerging evidence that this approach may be an effective salvage therapy for severe ARDS. Case Presentation: We present a case of a previously healthy 39-year-old Hispanic male who presented to the hospital with flu-like symptoms, including headache, fatigue, and myalgia for 8 days in late April 2020. He denied dyspnea on exertion. The patient's symptoms progressed, resulting in pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The patient was managed with prone positioning, convalescent plasma and veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) for 35 days. The patient successfully recovered and was able to ambulate independently and was discharged home from an acute care hospital without oxygen supplementation on hospital day 63. Conclusion: We present one of the first few documented cases of ECMO for severe ARDS due to COVID-19. After a prolonged hospital course requiring VV-ECMO, the patient was discharged home from an acute care hospital without oxygen requirement and ambulated independently, likely as a result of daily aggressive mobility-focused rehabilitation.
    • Treating the endotheliopathy of SARS-CoV-2 infection with plasma: Lessons learned from optimized trauma resuscitation with blood products

      Pati, Shibani; Fennern, Erin; Holcomb, John B; Barry, Mark; Trivedi, Alpa; Cap, Andrew P; Martin, Matthew J; Wade, Charles; Kozar, Rosemary; Cardenas, Jessica C; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2021-07-16)