Measuring the risk among clinicians who intubate patients with COVID-19

Penn launches a national component of global registry to track exposures and outcomes among providers who perform airway management procedures.

A team at the Perelman School of Medicine launched the United States component of a global registry that aims to help protect health care providers who intubate patients with COVID-19 and better quantify their risk of developing the disease. The intubateCOVID registry—established by a team in the United Kingdom—tracks exposures and outcomes among providers who perform intubations, with the ultimate goal of reducing the transmission of COVID-19 to these providers. 

closeup of doctor’s hands intubating a patient

About one percent of patients with COVID-19—a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2—require mechanical ventilation to help keep their oxygen levels stable. In order to provide that support, health care providers—such as anesthesiologists, nurse anesthetists, and emergency or critical care physicians—first must place a breathing tube that can then be connected to a ventilator.

“Placing a breathing tube in patients with COVID-19 can pose a high risk to health care workers, as it may expose them to aerosols and droplets from a patient’s airways,” says Mark Neuman, the Horatio C. Wood Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Penn and the national lead for intubateCOVID. “In order to inform and best protect clinicians performing these procedures, it’s imperative we understand how participating in intubation procedures may be linked to an individual’s risk of developing COVID-19.”

This article is by Mike Iorfino. Read more at Penn Medicine News.