Review: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): A primer for emergency physicians

This review article provides ED clinicians with recommendations for the evaluation and management of patients presenting with suspected COVID-19.

Care for potentially infected patients in the emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic requires significant consideration, as the virus is primarily transmitted person-to-person through close contact by respiratory droplets. The symptoms are similar to other viral upper respiratory illnesses. Three major trajectories include:

  1. Mild disease with upper respiratory symptoms
  2. Non-severe pneumonia, and
  3. Severe pneumonia complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Emergency physicians should focus on:

  • Identifying patients at risk
  • Isolating suspected patients, and
  • Informing hospital infection prevention and public health authorities.

Other recommendations include:

  • Patients with suspected COVID-19 should be asked to wear a facemask.
  • Respiratory etiquette, hand washing, and personal protective equipment are recommended for all healthcare personnel caring for suspected cases.
  • Disposition depends on patient symptoms, hemodynamic status, and patient ability to self-quarantine.
|2020-04-10T09:08:01-04:00April 10th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|Comments Off on Review: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): A primer for emergency physicians

About the Author: Aaron Carroll

Aaron Carroll

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