Cape Town hospital shares ICU info in global bid to beat pandemic

Intensive care specialists at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town are joining an international consortium sharing information about treating critically ill patients. File photo.
Intensive care specialists at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town are joining an international consortium sharing information about treating critically ill patients. File photo.
Image: 123rf/Alessandro Guerriero

Cape Town’s Groote Schuur Hospital, one of the biggest public health facilities in the country, will be sharing what goes on in its intensive care unit with hundreds of other hospitals across the world.

The hospital and the University of Cape Town have joined a global study on how to help the people most critically ill with Covid-19.

The study is hosted by an international consortium and the aim is to share “clinical insights” and information on which technologies are most effective in treating those facing death from the infection. It was conceived at the beginning of the year.

Groote Schuur joins almost 400 other hospitals in the endeavour. SA is one of 52 countries involved.

Prof Ivan Joubert, head of critical care at Groote Schuur and UCT, said: “Doctors, nurses and health-care workers are doing their very best for every patient they see.

“But during a pandemic involving a new disease like Covid-19, it can be very challenging to know how well you are doing. The disease and treatments are new to everyone and no context is completely the same.

“In addition, many of us are working in situations where resources are scarce. Every day, we are making decisions about what is the best strategy for a particular patient. How can we use our resources to help the most people as effectively as possible?”

The researchers want to “equip all intensive care clinicians, regardless of nationality or affiliation, with the best and most up-to-date information to save lives and improve patient outcomes during the pandemic and beyond”, UCT said in a statement.

Project leader Prof John Fraser, from the University of Queensland in Australia, said: “Right now, this pandemic is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, where there are pieces of information about caring for Covid patients scattered all over the globe.

“If the world shares all of its data, as we are doing through our consortium, we can bring all these disparate jigsaw puzzle pieces together to create a clearer picture of what these patients need in ICU and how to save lives.” 

© TimesLIVE


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