COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity

26 Mar, 2020
Owing to the rapid spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), an extraordinary situation has been declared,1 and acute hospitals will therefore be confronted with a massive influx of patients. Initially, this can be absorbed by the restriction of elective procedures,2 the transfer of patients to intermediate care units (IMCUs), an increase in ventilator-equipped beds, and the avoidance of personnel-intensive treatment options. However, if insufficient resources are available, rationing decisions will become necessary, placing considerable burdens on medical staff. This makes it all the more important that uniform criteria for intensive-care unit (ICU) admission and continued occupancy should be applied throughout Switzerland. The present guidelines provide the necessary basis.