COVID-19: ICUs' capacity to cope; the role of senior medical students

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 30 March 2020

THE Medical Journal of Australia has this afternoon published three new articles on COVID-19 via its rapid review preprint process, for immediate release.

1. Modelling the impact of COVID-19 upon intensive care services in New South Wales

Authors from the University of Sydney, Monash University, and James Cook University analysed two approaches to estimating intensive care unit bed demands in NSW local health districts. “This study applies two statistical models to demonstrate the effect of COVID-19 upon critical care services. Even with limited mitigation, the effect is expected to overwhelm existing ICU capacity. Urgent action is required to reduce transmission of COVID-19, and increase the capacity of critical care services.”

2.  Surge capacity of Australian intensive care units associated with COVID-19 admissions

Authors from intensive care units across the country found that “there is reported capacity to surge ICU beds by 189%, but overall insufficient availability of invasive ventilators within the hospitals of respondent ICUs to meet maximal bed surge and this capacity varies substantially between ICU categories and jurisdictions”.

3. Rethinking the role of senior medical students in the COVID-19 response

Authors from the Australasian Students’ Surgical Association and the Singapore Medical Society of Australia and New Zealand suggests that “with appropriate legal, operational and training safeguards, senior medical students have a role in the COVD-19 response if they desire”.

  • Cate Swannell

  • Medical Journal of Australia



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