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Early changes in hospital resuscitation practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secrest KM, Anderson TM, Trumpower B, Harrod M, Krein SL, Guetterman TC, Chan PS, Nallamothu BK. Early changes in hospital resuscitation practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resuscitation plus. 2022 Dec 1; 12:100317.

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BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic resulted in many disruptions in care for patients experiencing in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA). We sought to identify changes made in hospital resuscitation practices during progression of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We conducted a descriptive qualitative study using in-depth interviews of clinical staff leadership involved with resuscitation care at a select group of U.S. acute care hospitals in the national American Heart Association Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation registry for IHCA. We focused interviews on resuscitation practice changes for IHCA since the initiation of the COVID-19 pandemic. We used rapid analysis techniques for qualitative data summarization and analysis. RESULTS: A total of 6 hospitals were included with interviews conducted with both physicians and nurses between November 2020 and April 2021. Three topical themes related to shifts in resuscitation practice through the COVID-19 pandemic were identified: 1) ensuring patient and provider safety and wellness (e.g., use of personal protective equipment); 2) changing protocols and training for routine educational practices (e.g., alterations in mock codes and team member roles); and 3) goals of care and end of life discussions (e.g., challenges with visitor and family policies). We found advances in leveraging technology use as an important topic that helped institutions address challenges across all 3 themes. CONCLUSIONS: Early on, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many changes to resuscitation practices at hospitals placing an emphasis on enhanced safety, training, and end of life planning. These lessons have implications for understanding how systems may be better designed for resuscitation efforts.

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