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COVID-19 guidance for anaesthesia and perioperative care providers

On the 11 March 2020 WHO characterised the spread of coronavirus as a pandemic.

The spread of the virus can be monitored through various websites including the COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

This novel coronavirus route of transmission and clinical presentation is similar to SARS, with flu-like symptoms (typically involving fever, cough, shortness of breath) and acute respiratory failure (commonly bilateral pneumonia, acute respiratory distress). However, patients may present with atypical symptoms.

While COVID-19 has been suggested to have a lower case fatality rate (2.5%) than SARS (9.6%), MERS (34.4%), or H1N1 (17.4%), the extent of spread means that the death toll is significant. Frontline healthcare workers are at high risk of becoming infected, and are also at risk of spreading infection. 

Anaesthesiologists and other perioperative care providers are particularly at risk when providing respiratory care and tracheal intubation of patients with COVID-19. WFSA would like to draw anesthesia team attention to the importance of appropriate precautions when providing respiratory care and intubation for these patients.

Guidance on anaesthesia and COVID-19

Guidance on Airway Management

Guidance on Obstetric Anaesthesia

Guidance for Low Resource Settings

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Coronavirus – General Information 

Coronavirus – Wellbeing