Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Critical Care Transfers and COVID-19: Managing Capacity Challenges through Critical Care Networks

Version 1 : Received: 3 October 2020 / Approved: 6 October 2020 / Online: 6 October 2020 (11:41:35 CEST)

How to cite: Pett, E.; Leung, H.L.; Taylor, E.; Chong, M.S.F.; Hla, T.T.W.; Sartori, G.; Sathianathan, V.; Husain, T.; Suntharalingam, G.; Rosenberg, A.; Walsh, A.; Wigmore, T. Critical Care Transfers and COVID-19: Managing Capacity Challenges through Critical Care Networks. Preprints 2020, 2020100125 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0125.v1). Pett, E.; Leung, H.L.; Taylor, E.; Chong, M.S.F.; Hla, T.T.W.; Sartori, G.; Sathianathan, V.; Husain, T.; Suntharalingam, G.; Rosenberg, A.; Walsh, A.; Wigmore, T. Critical Care Transfers and COVID-19: Managing Capacity Challenges through Critical Care Networks. Preprints 2020, 2020100125 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0125.v1).

Abstract

The intensive care units in North West London are part of one of the oldest critical carenetworks in the UK, forming a mature and established strategic alliance to shareresources, experience and knowledge for the benefit of its patients. North WestLondon saw an early surge in COVID-19 admissions, which urgently threatened thecapacity of some of its intensive care units even before the UK government announcedlockdown. The pre-existing relationships and culture within the network allowed itsmembers to unite and work rapidly to develop agile and innovative solutions, protectingany individual unit from becoming overwhelmed, and ultimately protecting its patients.Within a short 50-day period 223 patients were transferred within the network todistribute pressures. This unprecedented number of critical care transfers, combinedwith the creation of extra capacity and new pathways, allowed the region to continue tooffer timely and unrationed access to critical care for all patients who would benefitfrom admission. This extraordinary response is a testament to the power and benefitsof a regionally networked approach to critical care, and the lessons learned maybenefit other healthcare providers, managers and policy makers, especially in regionscurrently facing new outbreaks of COVID-19.

Subject Areas

Critical Care Capacity; Critical Care Transfers; Critical Care Networks; COVID-19 Critical Care Capacity; COVID-19; Patient Transfer; Inter-hospital transfer; COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2

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