Preparing Your Intensive Care Unit for the COVID-19 Pandemic

Practical Considerations and Strategies

Ken Junyang Goh; Jolin Wong; Jong-Chie Claudia Tien; Shin Yi Ng; Sewa Duu Wen; Ghee Chee Phua; Carrie Kah-Lai Leong


Crit Care. 2020;24(215) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly evolved into a worldwide pandemic. Preparing intensive care units (ICU) is an integral part of any pandemic response. In this review, we discuss the key principles and strategies for ICU preparedness. We also describe our initial outbreak measures and share some of the challenges faced. To achieve sustainable ICU services, we propose the need to 1) prepare and implement rapid identification and isolation protocols, and a surge in ICU bed capacity; (2) provide a sustainable workforce with a focus on infection control; (3) ensure adequate supplies to equip ICUs and protect healthcare workers; and (4) maintain quality clinical management, as well as effective communication.