ResearchPad - covid-19-articles-fast-tracked-articles https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Palliative Care Utilization Among Patients With COVID-19 in an Underserved Population: A Single-Center Retrospective Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13615 As health-care institutions mobilize resources to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, palliative care may potentially be underutilized. It is important to assess the use of palliative care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.MethodsThis is a retrospective single-center study of patients with COVID-19 diagnosed via reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay admitted between March 1, 2020, and April 24, 2020. An analysis of the utilization of palliative care in accordance with patient comorbidities and other characteristics was performed while considering clinical outcomes. Chi-square test was used to determine associations between categorical variables while t-tests were used to compare continuous variables.ResultsThe overall mortality rate was 21.5% (n = 52), and in 48% (n = 25) of these patients, palliative care was not involved. Fifty-nine percent (n = 24) of those who had palliative consults eventually elected for comfort measures and transitioned to hospice care. Among those classified as having severe COVID-19, only 40% (n = 31) had palliative care involvement. Of these patients with severe COVID-19, 68% (n = 52) died. Patients who got palliative care consults were of older age, had higher rates of intubation, a need for vasopressors, and were dead.ConclusionThere was a low utilization rate of palliative care in patients with COVID-19. Conscious utilization of palliative care is needed at the time of COVID-19. ]]> <![CDATA[Development of a Palliative Care Toolkit for the COVID-19 Pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13585 The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to high numbers of critically ill and dying patients in need of expert management of dyspnea, delirium, and serious illness communication. The rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome-Coronavirus-2 creates surges of infected patients requiring hospitalization and puts palliative care programs at risk of being overwhelmed by patients, families, and clinicians seeking help. In response to this unprecedented need for palliative care, our program sought to create a collection of palliative care resources for nonpalliative care clinicians. A workgroup of interdisciplinary palliative care clinicians developed the Palliative Care Toolkit, consisting of a detailed chapter in a COVID-19 online resource, a mobile and desktop Web application, one-page guides, pocket cards, and communication skills training videos. The suite of resources provides expert and evidence-based guidance on symptom management including dyspnea, pain, and delirium, as well as on serious illness communication, including conversations about goals of care, code status, and end of life. We also created a nurse resource hotline staffed by palliative care nurse practitioners and virtual office hours staffed by a palliative care attending physician. Since its development, the Toolkit has helped us disseminate best practices to nonpalliative care clinicians delivering primary palliative care, allowing our team to focus on the highest-need consults and increasing acceptance of palliative care across hospital settings.

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<![CDATA[International COVID-19 Palliative Care Guidance for Nursing Homes Leaves Key Themes Unaddressed]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_10573 COVID-19 mortality disproportionally affects nursing homes, creating enormous pressures to deliver high-quality end-of-life care. Comprehensive palliative care should be an explicit part of both national and global COVID-19 response plans. Therefore, we aimed to identify, review, and compare national and international COVID-19 guidance for nursing homes concerning palliative care, issued by government bodies and professional associations. We performed a directed documentary and content analysis of newly developed or adapted COVID-19 guidance documents from across the world. Documents were collected via expert consultation and independently screened against prespecified eligibility criteria. We applied thematic analysis and narrative synthesis techniques. We identified 21 eligible documents covering both nursing homes and palliative care, from the World Health Organization (n = 3), and eight individual countries: U.S. (n = 7), The Netherlands (n = 2), Ireland (n = 1), U.K. (n = 3), Switzerland (n = 3), New Zealand (n = 1), and Belgium (n = 1). International documents focused primarily on infection prevention and control, including only a few sentences on palliative care–related topics. Palliative care themes most frequently mentioned across documents were end-of-life visits, advance care planning documentation, and clinical decision making toward the end of life (focusing on hospital transfers). There is a dearth of comprehensive international COVID-19 guidance on palliative care for nursing homes. Most have a limited focus both regarding breadth of topics and recommendations made. Key aspects of palliative care, that is, symptom management, staff education and support, referral to specialist services or hospice, and family support, need greater attention in future guidelines.

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<![CDATA[LGBTQ+ Inclusive Palliative Care in the Context of COVID-19: Pragmatic Recommendations for Clinicians]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nde65bca6-50d6-4980-b84b-3ff88c0970b7 As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to impact the seriously ill and their families on a global scale, considerations given to marginalized groups amid the pandemic are essential to ensure the provision of high-quality and dignified care. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender-nonconforming, and queer/questioning-identified (LGBTQ+) persons are particularly vulnerable to health inequities across settings, including palliative care and at the end of life. There is a crucial gap in the literature pertaining to palliative care for LGBTQ+ populations during COVID-19. We aim to fill this gap by providing essential health inequity and social support background pertaining to LGBTQ+ persons and practical recommendations for immediate implementation that support inclusive and respectful care for these populations. Using these recommendations is a pragmatic pathway to promote trust, transparency, patient and family engagement, and value concordant care amid the health system strain caused by COVID-19.

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<![CDATA[Development and Implementation of a Clinician-Facing Prognostic Communication Tool for Patients With COVID-19 and Critical Illness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N39dd2be7-627d-4fe6-84bb-0493a19d526e Effective prognostication for a novel disease presents significant challenges, especially given the stress induced during a pandemic. We developed a point-of-care tool to summarize outcome data for critically ill patients with COVID-19 and help guide clinicians through a thoughtful prognostication process. Two authors reviewed studies of outcomes of patients with critical illness due to COVID-19 and created a visual infographic tool based on available data. Survival data were supplemented by descriptions of best- and worst-case clinical scenarios. The tool also included prompts for clinician reflection designed to enhance awareness of cognitive biases that may affect prognostic accuracy. This online, open-source COVID-19 Prognostication Tool has been made available to all clinicians at our institution and is updated weekly to reflect evolving data. Our COVID-19 Prognostication Tool may provide a useful approach to promoting consistent and high-quality prognostic communication across a health care system.

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<![CDATA[COVID-19—Impact on DNR Orders in the Largest Cancer Center in Jordan]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8ee1bb1d-e910-4041-88e4-a10f699052cd The COVID-19 pandemic requires health care teams to rethink how they can continue to provide high-quality care for all patients, whether they are suffering from a COVID-19 infection or other diseases with clinical uncertainty. Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Jordan remains relatively low compared to many other countries, our team introduced significant changes to team operations early, with the aim of protecting patients, families, and health care staff from COVID-19 infections, while preparing to respond to the needs of patients suffering from severe COVID-19 infections. This paper describes the changes made to our “do not resuscitate” policy for the duration of the pandemic.

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<![CDATA[Availability of Internationally Controlled Essential Medicines in the COVID-19 Pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N78bc1b02-111a-45b6-9604-b3d79b1d5463 Section 2 of the 2019 World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines includes opioid analgesics formulations commonly used for the control of pain and respiratory distress, as well as sedative and anxiolytic substances such as midazolam and diazepam. These medicines, essential to palliative care, are regulated under the international drug control conventions overseen by United Nations specialized agencies and treaty bodies and under national drug control laws. Those national laws and regulations directly affect bedside availability of Internationally Controlled Essential Medicines (ICEMs). The complex interaction between national regulatory systems and global supply chains (now impacted by COVID-19 pandemic) directly affects bedside availability of ICEMs and patient care. Despite decades of global civil society advocacy in the United Nations system, ICEMs have remained chronically unavailable, inaccessible, and unaffordable in low- and-middle-income countries, and there are recent reports of shortages in high-income countries as well. The most prevalent symptoms in COVID-19 are breathlessness, cough, drowsiness, anxiety, agitation, and delirium. Frequently used medicines include opioids such as morphine or fentanyl and midazolam, all of them listed as ICEMs. This paper describes the issues related to the lack of availability and limited access to ICEMs during the COVID-19 pandemic in both intensive and palliative care patients in countries of all income levels and makes recommendations for improving access.

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