Recent reports identify that among hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 patients, 30% require ICU care. Understanding ICU resource needs remains an essential component of meeting current and projected needs of critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 patients.
This study queried U.S. ICU clinician perspectives on challenging aspects of care in managing coronavirus disease 2019 patients, current and anticipated resource demands, and personal stress.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS
Using a descriptive survey methodology, an anonymous web-based survey was administered from April 7, 2020, to April 22, 2020 (email and newsletter) to query members of U.S. national critical care organizations.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Through a 16-item descriptive questionnaire, ICU clinician perceptions were assessed regarding current and emerging critical ICU needs in managing the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infected patients, resource levels, concerns about being exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and perceived level of personal stress. A total of 9,120 ICU clinicians responded to the survey, representing all 50 U.S. states, with 4,106 (56.9%) working in states with 20,000 or more coronavirus disease 2019 cases. The 7,317 respondents who indicated their profession included ICU nurses (n = 6,731, 91.3%), advanced practice providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants; n = 334, 4.5%), physicians (n = 212, 2.9%), respiratory therapists (n = 31, 0.4%), and pharmacists (n = 30, 0.4%). A majority (n = 6,510, 88%) reported having cared for a patient with presumed or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019. The most critical ICU needs identified were personal protective equipment, specifically N95 respirator availability, and ICU staffing. Minimizing healthcare worker virus exposure during care was believed to be the most challenging aspect of coronavirus disease 2019 patient care (n = 2,323, 30.9%). Nurses report a high level of concern about exposing family members to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (median score of 10 on 0-10 scale). Similarly, the level of concern reached the maximum score of 10 in ICU clinicians who had provided care to coronavirus disease 2019 patients.
This national ICU clinician survey identifies continued concerns regarding personal protective equipment supplies with the chief issue being N95 respirator availability. As the pandemic continues, ICU clinicians anticipate a number of limited resources that may impact ICU care including personnel, capacity, and surge potential, as well as staff and subsequent family members exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. These persistent concerns greatly magnify personal stress, offering a therapeutic target for professional organization and facility intervention efforts.