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Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine


Introduction: COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Many of the COVID-19 patients develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and require ventilatory support based on their severity for which conventional strategies are being used along with few newer strategies. We conducted this multicenter survey to know the physician’s current ventilation strategies adopted for the care of COVID-19 patients. Materials and methods: The survey was conducted after taking the ethical committee clearance. The web-based multicenter, cross-sectional questionnaire study was sent to physicians, who were involved in the management of COVID-19 patients. The questionnaire was segregated into three parts: part one consisted of general information and consent form, part two was concerned regarding demographic characteristics, and part three was concerned about their practices and strategies for ventilation of COVID-19 patients. Results: A total of 223 responders replied for the questionnaire; 190 participated in the study saying that they are involved in the management of COVID-19 patients. The answers to the questionnaires were expressed as a percentage of total responses. 86% of the respondents said they have a designated intensive care unit (ICU) and 89% of the responders said they have an intubation/extubation protocol for suspect/confirmed COVID-19 patients. The responses of Junior Residents (JRs), Senior Residents (SRs), Assistant Professors/Junior consultants, and Professors/ Consultants were analyzed separately, and a few significant differences were observed. 39% of JRs were aware of prone ventilation as the most effective rescue ventilation strategy compared to 69% of consultants/professors. Extracorporeal membranous oxygenation (ECMO) strategy was also more significant in consultants/professors (40%) vs JRs (12%). The responders were also diverged based on Medical College and Corporate hospital, and their responses were noted. Most commonly, responders in the corporate hospital had a facility to ventilate COVID-19 patients in a negative pressure isolation facility compared to a nonnegative pressure room isolation facility in medical college. Conclusion: Most of the responders were practising ventilation strategies in a standard manner. JRs need to undergo further training in a few aspects of the ventilatory management, and also, they need to update themselves with newer treatment modalities as they keep evolving. Medical colleges are providing at par facility compared to corporate hospitals except for few advance care facilities. Clinical significance: This study highlights the current practice of ventilatory management of COVID-19 patients, which is satisfactory. The survey can be used to develop study tools, to educate resident doctors, to further improve quality of care of critical COVID-19 patients.

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