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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

Print version ISSN 0025-7680On-line version ISSN 1669-9106


ESTENSSORO, Elisa et al. Structural capacity, technological human resources and mechanical ventilation requirements in 58 intensive care units in Argentina during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. A SATICOVID-19 Study. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2022, vol.82, n.1, pp.35-46. ISSN 0025-7680.

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, there was a marked requirement for critical care beds, supplies and trained professionals to assist patients with severe respiratory failure. The Argentine Society of Intensive Care (SATI) designed a study to characterize these aspects in intensive care units (ICUs). Multicenter, prospective cohort study; the participating ICUs completed a form at the end of the study (31/10/2020) on hospital characteristics, number of beds in pre- and intra-pandemic critical areas, incorporation of professionals, technological resources, and workload. Fifty-eight ICUs participated; 28(48%) were located in Buenos Aires Province, 22(38%) in Buenos Aires Autonomous City and 10 (17%) in other provinces; 31 (53%) of UCIs belonged to the public sector; 23 (47%) to the private-social security. In 35/58 (60%) of the hospitals critical care beds increased from 902 to 1575 (75%), 37% in ICU and 63% mainly in Coronary Care Unit and Emergency-shock room. In 41/55 (75%) UCIs, staff were incorporated: 27(49%) physicians (70% intensivists), 36 (65%) nurses, 28 (51%) respiratory therapists, 20(36%) cleaning staff, and 1(2%) others. A 96% of the ICUS reported having sufficient ventilators and 95% enough sup plies and PPE. Of all patients on invasive mechanical ventilation, 55% [43-64] had COVID-19. Oxygen therapy was required as noninvasive support in 14% [8-24] of COVID-19 admissions. There was a significant expansion of critical operational areas, secondary to the increase in beds, staff, and adequate availability of ventilators and essential supplies. The burden of critical illness from COVID-19 was intense, with more than half of patients on mechanical ventilation.

Keywords : Coronavirus; ICU; COVID-19; Hospital preparedness; Respiratory failure; Surge capacity.

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