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Response to Pandemic

During these trying times in healthcare, critical care medicine has been at the heart of responding to the sickest COVID-19 patients. Over the last year, critical care fellows played an integral role in our response including cross training other specialties for the ICU, instructing classes on proper donning/doffing of personal protective equipment, multiple in process research projects relating to the pandemic and active involvement in care processes related to this population. Our system created a closed and dedicated fully negative pressure ICU for these patients. Staff from our CDC regulated biocontainment unit have had a huge presence within the ICU, allowing for innovative approaches to care for these patients. We are lucky to have world renowned leaders in critical care medicine and disaster management that alleviated perfecting our approach. Frequent and effective communication from leaders within the institution about pandemic updates both nationally and within the system have kept the department up to date. Some of our fellows volunteered and had very active roles within our local community’s response to the pandemic as well. Our Graduate Medical Education Department provided strong advocacy for learner protection during this pandemic. Adequate and appropriate personal protective equipment was ensured and provided along with fully adapted schedules to decrease risk of burnout. Our ICU psychologist played a key role in emotional support of staff, patients and families. We utilized our eICU platform for families to communicate with their loved ones while visitation policies were adapted. We will continue to adapt and actively elicit critical care fellow’s input.