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The three vital lessons Italian hospitals have learned in fighting COVID-19

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Protection for staff, clean covid-negative wards, and enforcing social isolation are the three take home messages from Italy’s fight against COVID-19, according to rapid findings shared exclusively with HSJ.

By 6 March 2020, Italy had recorded 4,636 cases and 197 deaths attributable to COVID-19. On 20 March, two weeks later, the UK announced 3,983 cases and 177 deaths due to the novel coronavirus.

Models put us two weeks behind Italy and on the same trajectory. PanSurg.org, an international collaborative created at Imperial College London, organised a series of webinars to rapidly share experiences and learning around the pandemic amongst the global healthcare community. Nearly 1,000 healthcare professionals from around the world took part in these events, and several important messages emerged.

1) Protect your staff: full PPE (including, FFP3 masks) for COVID-19 suspected or COVID-19 positive areas. This is both for them and to keep your workforce numbers intact.

2) Treat everyone as if they could haveCOVID-19, as they may do and “fear the covid negative ward”.

3) Enforce social isolation and contact tracing and place a significant focus on testing.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 25 March 2020

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