Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) progresses mildly in most of the cases; however, about 5% of the patients develop a severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Of all COVID-19 patients 3% need intensive care treatment, which becomes a great challenge for anesthesiology and intensive care medicine, medically, hygienically and for technical safety requirements. For these reasons, only experienced medical and nursing staff in the smallest grouping possible should be assigned. For these team members, a consistent use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential.
Due to the immense medical challenges, the following treatment guidelines were developed by the ÖGARI (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Anästhesiologie, Reanimation und Intensivmedizin), FASIM (Federation of Austrian Societies of Intensive Care Medicine) and ÖGIAIN (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Internistische und Allgemeine Intensivmedizin und Notfallmedizin).
The recommendations given in this article are to be understood as short snapshots of the moment; all basic guidelines are works in progress and will be regularly updated as evidence levels, new study results and additional experience are gathered.