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Good rules for ICU admission allow a fair allocation of resources, even in a pandemic

Viewpoint
Suter P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20230

A set of guidelines concerning ethical, medical and social aspects of triage decisions, as well as of other related problems of the COVID-19 pandemic: In all cases, decisions must be based on sound, transparent and understandable rules.

COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity

Special article
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20229

If insufficient resources are available, rationing decisions will become necessary, placing considerable burdens on medical staff. This makes it all the more important that uniform criteria for ICU admission and continued occupancy should be applied throughout Switzerland.

Recommendations for the admission of patients with COVID-19 to intensive care and intermediate care units (ICUs and IMCUs)

Special article
Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20227

The Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine (SSIM) has elaborated detailed and coherent guidelines defining the criteria for admission to the ICU in situations of bed shortage.

COVID-19: decision making and palliative care

Special article
Borasio GD, Gamondi C, Obrist M, Jox R, for the COVID-19 task force of palliative ch
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20233

Due to the current development around the COVID-19 pandemic, palliative ch has created a Task Force to provide recommendations for health professionals on the treatment of palliative care patients in the various settings ‒ inpatient and outpatient.

COVID-19 pandemic: palliative care for elderly and frail patients at home and in residential and nursing homes

Special article
Kunz R, Minder M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20235

The current pandemic and the publication of the SAMS Guidelines “COVID-19 pandemic: triage for intensive-care treatment under resource scarcity” have prompted the Association for Geriatric Palliative Medicine to prepare these recommendations for practice.

Mimics and chameleons of COVID-19

Viewpoint
Nickel CH, Bingisser R
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20231

To understand the new and sometimes puzzling clinical presentations emerging in the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to have at hand concepts such as “mimics and chameleons”. 

COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland: on the importance of testing, contact tracing and isolation

Viewpoint
Salathé M, Althaus CL, Neher R, Stringhini S, Hodcroft E, Fellay J, Zwahlen M, Senti G, Battegay M, Wilder-Smith A, Eckerle I, Egger M, Low N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20225

A liberal approach to testing for SARS-CoV-2 in Switzerland is needed as part of the package of control measures.

Potential impact of seasonal forcing on a SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Original article
Neher RA, Dyrdak R, Druelle V, Hodcroft EB, Albert J
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20224

The authors explore how seasonal variation in transmissibility could modulate a SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The likely aggregated effect of seasonal variation, infection control measures, and transmission rate variation is a prolonged pandemic wave with lower prevalence at any given time, thereby providing a window of opportunity for better preparation of health care systems.

Understanding COVID-19 new diagnostic guidelines – a message of reassurance from an internal medicine doctor in Shanghai

Viewpoint
Bischof E, Chen G, Ferretti MT
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20216

The change in diagnostic criteria for COVID-19 diagnosis in Hubei province caused a shift in the numbers of total cases overnight. The aim of this article is to explain the rationale for the choice of the new criteria and the meaning of the new data, from the perspective of the authors based in Shanghai, China, struck by the level of panic and emotional distress in many people that has been generated by the new data.

Preliminary case report on the SARS-CoV-2 cluster in the UK, France, and Spain

Original article
Hodcroft EB
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20212

In this article all publicly available information about the primarily UK/France cluster is consolidated, providing a complete and accessible summary of the cases and their connections.

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