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INTRODUCTION: In early 2021, Portugal came to the misfortune of being the country with the highest number of cases and deaths/100000 inhabitants by COVID-19 in the world. To provide appropriate care to hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection with different degrees of clinical severity, the CUF Tejo Hospital carried out an internal reorganization and set up an intermediate surveillance unit (UVI).
METHODS: We present the work experienced in the organization of the UVI and the analysis of the assisted patients. The admission criteria to this unit were patients with COVID-19 pneumonia and the need for non-invasive respiratory therapies.
RESULTS: Between February 1st and March 3rd, 2021, 26 patients were followed, out of a total of 28 admissions, with a predominance of man (69%) and a mean age of 76.8 years. A total of 85% had at least one comorbidity. In all cases, the reason for admission was respiratory failure, with high-flow oxygen and/or non-invasive ventilation being initiated in 23 patients. Corticosteroid therapy was instituted or maintained in 24 patients and antibiotic therapy in 22 patients. The average UVI length of stay was 6.2 days. In total, 62% were discharged from hospital, 35% died and 1 was hospitalized at the time of writing.
CONCLUSION: The organizational plasticity, the correct coordination, cooperation and articulation between teams, and the development of care based on the best available scientific evidence, were crucial elements from the genesis of our work until the moment when the team ceased its functions, due to COVID-19 outbreak improvement of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
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