Change in Clinical Status: Escalating from Ward to ITU

Tutorial presented by Dr Paul Frost, Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine.

Patients may deteriorate on a COVID ward, and may require escalation to an Intensive Care Unit. The decision to escalate to an ICU should be made by a senior clinical decision maker, based on the likely trajectory of the patient’s illness and/or oxygen saturations below 90% despite maximal oxygen therapy by CPAP or ward-based oxygen devices. The patient’s response to treatment, evidence of other organ failure, as well as some subjective criteria including how the patient feels and their work of breathing, should also all be considered.

If the patient remains on the ward for continued ward-based management, at least twice daily discussions should take place with the ICU teams, and preferentially the ICU should review these patients.

Last updated: 26/11/2020

Additional Resources

Guideline on the Management of Oxygenation Failure on a COVID-19 Ward

Powered by ICST.