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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.

Code status discussions in medical inpatients: results of a survey of patients and physicians

Original article
Becker C, Künzli N, Perrig S, Beck K, Vincent A, Widmer M, Thommen E, Schaefert R, Bassetti S, Hunziker S
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20194

Code status discussions are useful for understanding patients’ preferences in the case of a cardiac/pulmonary arrest. These discussions can also provide patients with a basis for informed decision-making regarding life-sustaining treatment.

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.

Do older adults benefit from post-acute care following hospitalisation? A prospective cohort study at three Swiss nursing homes

Original article
Thalmann M, Tröster T, Fischer K, Bieri-Brüning G, Beeler PE, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gagesch M
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20198

In this real-word sample, post-acute care resulted in a significant and clinically relevant improvement in physical performance and activities of daily living.

Temporal work stressors and satisfaction with work, life and health among health professionals in Switzerland

Original article
Siebenhüner K, Battegay E, Hämmig O
Swiss Med Wkly. 2020;150:w20175

Working in a hospital can be both rewarding and stressful. Whether one or the other is dominant depends on a number of factors ranging from shift work, physical demands, responsibilities and time pressure to job autonomy, work climate and leisure time.

The glory of the age is the wisdom of grey hair: association of physician appearance with outcomes in hospitalised medical patients – an observational study

Original article
Haubitz-Eschelbach A, Durmisi M, Haubitz S, Kutz A, Mueller B, Greenwald JL, Schuetz P
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20162

The physical appearance of a physician may influence patients’ perception of the physicians’ quality of care. There is a lack of studies investigating whether physician appearance is indeed associated with patient satisfaction and mortality.

The last decade of symptom-oriented research in emergency medicine: triage, work-up, and disposition

Review article: Biomedical intelligence
Bingisser R, Nickel CH
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20141

Symptom-oriented research has become the domain of emergency medicine research, as most other specialities have strongly focused diagnostic and prognostic research on individual disease entities.

Clinical practice guidelines of medical societies in Switzerland: analysis of the current state

Original article
Bachmann L, Ulytė A, Dressel H
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20134

In Switzerland, Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) are not generally registered by a single central institution. Therefore, the total number and overall quality of the existing guidelines are not known.

Impact of staffing a surgical intermediate care unit with a critical care specialist

Original article
Paratte G, Zingg T, Addor V, Krief H, Schäfer M, Demartines N
Swiss Med Wkly. 2019;149:w20117

Intermediate care units are important in many institutions where ICUs were overbooked and occupied by some patients not requiring ICU care. Limitations are the lack of surgeons trained in critical care and demands on the time of surgical staff.

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