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Remodelling of a regional emergency hub in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Emilia-Romagna
  1. Lorenzo Gamberini1,
  2. Carlo Coniglio1,
  3. Nicola Cilloni1,
  4. Federico Semeraro1,
  5. Federico Moro1,
  6. Marco Tartaglione1,
  7. Valentina Chiarini1,
  8. Cristian Lupi1,
  9. Vincenzo Bua2,
  10. Giovanni Gordini1
  1. 1 Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Prehospital Emergency, Maggiore Hospital Carlo Alberto Pizzardi, Bologna, Italy
  2. 2 Emergency Department, Maggiore Hospital Carlo Alberto Pizzardi, Bologna, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lorenzo Gamberini, Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Prehospital Emergency, Maggiore Hospital Carlo Alberto Pizzardi, Bologna 40133, Italy; gambero6891{at}


Emilia-Romagna was one of the most affected Italian regions during the COVID-19 outbreak in February 2020. We describe here the profound regional, provincial and municipal changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to cope with the numbers of patients presenting with COVID-19 illness, as well as coping with the ongoing need to care for patients presenting with non-COVID-19 emergencies. We focus on the structural and functional changes in one particular hospital within the city of Bologna, the regional capital, which acted as the central emergency hub for time-sensitive pathologies for the province of Bologna. Finally, we present the admissions profile to our emergency department in relation to the massive increase of infected patients observed in our region as well as the organisational response to prepare for the second wave of the pandemic.

  • efficiency
  • emergency care systems
  • emergency department management
  • epidemiology
  • infectious diseases
  • SARS

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  • Handling editor Ellen J Weber

  • Twitter @LorenzoGamberi6, @marco_tarta, @vale_chiarini

  • Contributors CC, NC, VB and GG designed and supervised the implementation of the functional and structural changes at our institution. LG ideated and designed the article structure and extracted the ED flow data. MT, VC, FS and FM wrote the article and designed the infographics. FS, NC and CL reviewed the article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.