The COVID-19 pandemic will stretch hospital resources all over the world. This guideline is a framework for all Emergency Departments to work from as we plan and respond to the pandemic.
With our states, countries, metropolitan, rural and regional emergency care facilities all at different stages of community impact, and with markedly different workforce, infrastructure and resources available, local implementation of these guidelines will differ.
However, there are general principles of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 emergency care that will apply to all workplaces:
- There is no patient emergency more important than the safety of our healthcare workforce.
- Appropriate, judicious use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is paramount.
- Planning for the increased numbers of patients requiring critical care services is important.
- Special consideration should be given to vulnerable people, both patients and staff, such as those who are older or have comorbidities, as well as Indigenous populations.