News and Innovation

Changing Resuscitation Management to Minimize Viral Spread

Todd P. Chang, MD, MAcM, Attending Physician, Division of Emergency and Transport Medicine

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes must be made to how patients are resuscitated. Normal procedures such as intubation and CPR can allow viruses to spread.  The American Heart Association has provided changes to prior guidelines to reduce or eliminate the amount of virus that is expelled into the air (aerosolized) during resuscitation. Adding layers of protective barriers between clinical staff and patients, while necessary, make patient resuscitation more challenging.  

Todd P. Chang, MD, MAcM, is currently designing an exploratory, randomized-control simulation-based study to examine the effects of patient barrier use on resuscitation performance and on virus aerosolization using high-fidelity simulations through the CHLA Las Madrinas Simulation Center. Studies like these will lead to a better understanding of the challenges health care professionals face in resuscitating patients under protective barriers. Outcomes will provide evidence for the effects of current AHA guidelines and could inform decisions as to whether or not these guidelines warrant modification.