In some clinical settings, the role of anesthesiologists is temporary changing with the present COVID-19 pandemic. Those replacing role are affecting everything from how anesthesiologists are keeping themselves safe during patient care to how they are billing and coding for their services.
Personal protective equipment
One advice from the panel was for physicians to use N95 masks with only with patients who are suspected of having Coronavirus, and to use extra personal protective equipment (PPE), such as surgical masks and eye shields, to save the providers and the N95 masks. Anyway, since testing for COVID-19 has not been accessible either universally or promptly, making it impossible to identify all patients who are COVID-19 Positive, the ASA, along with the AAAA or APSF, and AANA, have since updated those advices to contain wearing N95 masks or similarly protective equipment, such as powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs), in all surgical and diagnostic therapeutic procedures.
Postpone nonessential surgeries
Another vital recommendation from the panel was the nonessential surgeries be postponed to conserve, PPE, ORs, hospital staff, and other resources for quick COVID-19 cases.
From OR to ICU
With ORs sitting empty and lots of procedures postponed, some professionals are calling for the transformation of ORs into intensive care units and anesthesiologists, among other clinicians, into intensivists to meet the need of serious COVID-19 PATIENTS.
From anesthesiologist to intensivist
While not all ORs may be changed to ICU rooms, anesthesiologists still may be called on to do more critical care services than usual, including procedures they generally do an occasional basis, such as arterial catheterization, intubations and central venous catheter placements. As well, anesthesiologists may be asked to cover ventilation management or offer regular visits for patient admitted to the ICU.