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Prioritising intubator safety in a pandemic: the details matter

Abstract

Our ED-intensive care unit has instituted a new protocol meant to maximise the safety of physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists involved with endotracheal intubation of patients known or suspected of being infected with the novel SARS-CoV-2. The level of detail involved with this checklist is a deviation from standard intubation practices and is likely unfamiliar to most emergency physicians. However, the two-person system used in our department removes the cognitive burden such complexity would otherwise demand and minimises the number of participants that would typically be exposed during endotracheal intubation. We share this checklist to demonstrate to other departments how adopting international airway guidelines to a specific institution can be achieved in order to promote healthcare worker safety.

  • respiratory
  • airway
  • emergency department
  • safety
  • infectious diseases
  • viral

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