New oxygenation and ventilation management training for healthcare providers
With the COVID-19 pandemic, more patients are having difficulty breathing and requiring ventilators to help them breathe. As hospital and intensive care unit (ICU) volumes increase with COVID-19 patients, health care professionals are being called upon to work outside their usual areas of patient care, particularly helping to care for critically ill patients on ventilators.
The American Heart Association, the world's leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, trains millions of health care professionals in resuscitation globally. In conjunction with the American Association of Respiratory Care and the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Heart Association has released training modules to teach health care professionals about the basics of oxygenation and ventilation management for COVID-19 patients. This guidance was published on April 3, 2020 on the Association's CPR and First Aid website cpr.heart.org.
"Given that COVID-19 patients will have respiratory issues and even respiratory failure, the American Heart Association felt it was important to bring all health care professionals the opportunity to quickly learn the basics of oxygenation and ventilation management and to be able to access this information when they most need it," said Comilla Sasson, MD, Ph.D., FAHA, FACEP, a practicing emergency room physician and vice-president for emergency cardiovascular care science and innovation at the American Heart Association.
The modules include specific guidance for the non-ICU health care provider for patients requiring ventilation assistance who are under investigation for or confirmed cases of COVID-19, how to mitigate risks of frequently used ventilation assistance devices such as non-invasive ventilation and high flow nasal cannula in the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to discuss risk mitigation techniques specific to COVID-19 used to protect health care providers.