Clinical management of patients with COVID-19: Initial approach to the acutely ill patient

This course in the Clinical Management of Patients with COVID-19 series is dedicated to the initial approach to the acutely ill patient. Reviewed topics include screening and triage, including a lecture on the interagency integrated triage tool; how to designate a specific resuscitation area in an emergency unit, and how to use the WHO medical emergency checklist; and resuscitation area designation. Additionally, a systematic approach to the acutely ill patient is taught via the WHO/ICRC Basic Emergency Care course content, with specific modules on the ABCDE approach, approach to difficulty in breathing, approach to shock, and approach to altered mental status. The goal of these modules is to prepare and support health providers as they provide emergency care to seriously ill patients.

Photo credits: WHO/Yikun Wang

Self-paced
Language: English
COVID-19

Course information

This course is also available in the following languages:

Soomaaliga - Español

Overview: The Clinical Management of Patients with COVID-19 course series is developed for healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The series provides crucial knowledge necessary to provide safe, effective quality patient care. Presentations address all aspects of clinical management, including facility preparation and surge planning; health worker infection prevention and control; transfer and handover; clinical management of mild, moderate, and severely ill patients with COVID-19; special considerations for geriatric, pregnant, and pediatric patients with COVID-19; rehabilitation; and ethics and palliative care.

The course series includes video lectures and downloadable presentations that have been updated with the latest guidance and evidence. Each module contains 5-10 lectures, and each lecture includes a quiz to evaluate knowledge acquisition.

Should you be interested in learning more about other aspects of clinical management of patients with COVID-19, please refer to the following courses of the Clinical Management of Patients with COVID-19 course series:

Learning objectives: By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • explain the COVID-19 care pathway, including screening, isolation, acuity-based triage and patient release from the pathway;
  • explain the role of acuity-based triage;
  • describe the integrated interagency routine facility triage tool and its application to adult and pediatric triage;
  • describe key elements in designating a resuscitation area in an emergency unit;
  • use the WHO medical emergency checklist in the management of a seriously ill patient;
  • relate the components of the ABCDE systematic approach to the acutely ill patient;
  • list the components of the SAMPLE history;
  • explain the structure, organization and application of the ABCDE systematic approach for the acutely ill patient;
  • identify key causes, signs and symptoms and management for: acute airway obstruction, difficulty in breathing, poor perfusion and shock and altered mental status; and
  • discuss special considerations and management differences for the acutely ill paediatric patient presenting with: acute airway obstruction, difficulty in breathing, poor perfusion and altered mental status.

Course duration: This course will take approximately 6 hours to complete.

Certificates: A Record of Achievement certificate will be available to participants who score at least 80% of the total points available across all of the quizzes. A Confirmation of Participation certificate is also available for participants who complete at least 80% of the course material. Participants who receive a Record of Achievement can also download an Open Badge for this course. Click here to learn how.

Course contents

  • Module 1: Screening and triage:

    Module objectives: explain the COVID-19 care pathway; describe screening, isolation and acuity-based triage as outlined in the COVID-19 care pathway, and identify mechanisms by which a patient can be released from the COVID-19 care pathway.
  • Module 2: The integrated interagency triage tool:

    Module objectives: describe triage processes; relate the goals of triage processes; identify the management goals and urgency for patients triaged as Red, Yellow or Green; apply the routine facility interagency integrated triage tool for adult cases; apply the routine facility interagency integrated triage tool for paediatric cases.
  • Module 3: Resuscitation area designation:

    Module objectives: explain the rationale for a clearly designated resuscitation space; identify four characteristics important to a functional resuscitation space; list key material resources present in a resuscitation space; describe the arrival, triage, and resuscitation process for a patient triaged as Red; and identify the steps that should be taken before providers leave the resuscitation area.
  • Module 4: The WHO medical emergency checklist:

    Module objectives: describe the medical emergency checklist, and identify the ways in which it supports clinical judgement; outline key phases in checklist implementation; describe the two pause points of the checklist, including the rationale and appropriate timing of each.
  • Module 5: The ABCDE approach to the acutely ill patient:

    Module objectives: relate the components of the ABCDE systematic approach to the acutely ill patient; list the elements of a SAMPLE history; explain the importance of using the ABCDE systematic approach for every acutely ill patient, regardless of their COVID-19 status; describe key differences in the acutely ill pediatric patient, including danger signs and appropriate interventions.
  • Module 6: Approach to the patient with difficulty in breathing:

    Module objectives: perform the ABCDE systematic approach for the patient with difficulty in breathing; take a targeted SAMPLE history for the patient with difficulty in breathing; list common causes of difficulty in breathing; describe critical skills to perform for the patient with difficulty in breathing.
  • Module 7: Approach to the patient with shock:

    Module objectives: perform the ABCDE systematic approach for patients with shock; take a targeted SAMPLE history of patients with shock; list common causes of shock; describe critical skills to perform for the patient with shock; explain how to monitor patients receiving intravenous fluids for shock, and why monitoring is critically important.
  • Module 8: Approach to the patient with altered mental status:

    Module objectives: perform the ABCDE systematic approach for the patient with altered mental status; take a targeted SAMPLE history for a patient with altered mental status; list possible causes of altered mental status; describe critical skills to perform for the patient with altered mental status.

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Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 80% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 80% of the course material.