Intensive care medicine has made rapid medical and structural advances over the past years. The work in this highly specialised field is characterised by evidence-based and interdisciplinary medicine in combination with personalised medical approaches.
Then, a global pandemic started in Wuhan. The media have been documenting the potential limitations of intensive care for patients with COVID-19 every day. While calls for additional ventilators and intensive care beds continue, the adequate availability of physicians and nurses with extensive experience in caring for ventilated patients has been much more difficult to ensure.
Accordingly, there is a need to use medical and nursing staff with no or little experience in intensive care. This manual was developed in response to this need. It was written for clinicians from other medical fields as well as for experienced intensive care professionals such as nurses, physicians and respiratory therapists.
The combination of directly applicable standard operating procedures (SOP) and supplemental information aims to provide solutions for critical care in difficult times. In their effort to strike a balance between current intensive care know-how, the large number of COVID-19 patients and the inhomogeneous target group, the authors have compiled the most relevant diagnostic steps and measures. This manual is not intended to replace textbooks or guidelines, and the authors do not describe a singular path to good intensive care. Rather, they offer a broad spectrum of intensive care practices with a clear focus on ventilation therapy in the form of easily readable algorithms.