Infection control in the intensive care unit: expert consensus statements for SARS-CoV-2 using a Delphi method
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During the current COVID-19 pandemic, health-care workers and uninfected patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are at risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 as a result of transmission from infected patients and health-care workers. In the absence of high-quality evidence on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, clinical practice of infection control and prevention in ICUs varies widely. Using a Delphi process, international experts in intensive care, infectious diseases, and infection control developed consensus statements on infection control for SARS-CoV-2 in an ICU. Consensus was achieved for 31 (94%) of 33 statements, from which 25 clinical practice statements were issued. These statements include guidance on ICU design and engineering, health-care worker safety, visiting policy, personal protective equipment, patients and procedures, disinfection, and sterilisation. Consensus was not reached on optimal return to work criteria for health-care workers who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 or the acceptable disinfection strategy for heat-sensitive instruments used for airway management of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Well designed studies are needed to assess the effects of these practice statements and address the remaining uncertainties.
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