Purpose: We aim to describe the action plan and clinical results of a COVID-19 unit for adult patient care in units intended for critically ill children, proposing a clinical/administrative framework. Methods: We reviewed the preparedness of the PICU team before the surge of cases of COVID-19 and the organizational/administrative issues to increase critical beds in a six-bed PICU allocated to adult critical care in a government-funded general hospital in Latin America. We analyzed the prospectively collected administrative/clinical data of severe COVID-19 cases admitted to PICU during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic. Results: We describe a 6-step preparedness plan: recruitment and education, admission criteria, children diversion, team hierarchy, and general and respiratory equipment. The 6-bed PICU was allocated to adult care for 20 weeks, progressively increasing capacity to a 23-bed dedicated COVID-19 unit managed by the PICU team. A six-block bed organizational units were implemented, and personnel increased from 40 to 125 healthcare workers in 24 h shifts. COVID-19 incidence in personnel was 0.5/1000 workdays. One hundred thirty-six patients were admitted, median age 59 (51,65) years old, 68% were male, and 63% had P/F ≤ 100. In addition, 48% received mechanical ventilation, the median length of stay was 7 (3,17), and in-hospital mortality was 15%. Conclusions: We propose an organizational framework for the role of PICU in the hospital action plan to increase adult critical beds. The cohort of patients admitted to a PICU repurposed as a COVID-19 ICU had good outcomes. These data are valuable to plan coordinated actions of the healthcare system for future scenarios.
- Disaster response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine