Health Workforce Innovations in Response to the COVID Pandemic
Critical Care Response to SARS in Toronto
The surge in critically ill patients strained the healthcare system. There was significant absenteeism due to ill or quarantined health care workers which resulted in ICU bed closures. Fear, and emotional stress further impacted critical care staff availability during this time.
Emotional support and psychological intervention was provided to all types and levels of ICU staff during the outbreak.
Tertiary care intensivists staffed at 24-hour call center to support and give advice to critical care providers throughout the city.
Mental health services
Nurses - Licensed Practical
Nurses - Registered
Physicians - Specialists
A two-phase outbreak of SARS between March and June, 2003 occurred in Toronto, Ontario. During the outbreak 375 probable and suspected cases were reported in the province, the vast majority of which were patients, visitors, and healthcare workers who contracted it in Toronto hospitals.
Communication and leadership were key components in the success of the response. Government sponsorship was provided to support the toll-free call line.
There was an absence of a coordinated leadership and communication infrastructure. Novel infectious disease prevention procedures had to be implemented, staff needed to be educated, research needed to be conducted to learn about SARS, and staff morale ...
Booth, C. M., & Stewart, T. E. (2005). Severe acute respiratory syndrome and critical care medicine: the Toronto experience. Critical care medicine, 33(1 Suppl), S53–S60.