Covid -19 (CORONAVIRUS)
Update from the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (26th March 2020)
A message from the President
“Anaesthesiologists and intensive care specialists are integral to the safe and effective care of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and play a role in informing and reassuring the public about this viral outbreak. Our priority as a College is to support our Fellows and Trainees during this time and we are proud of your exemplary professionalism. Colleagues, trust in your experience, trust in your training and know that your College is here to support you.”
Dr Brian Kinirons , President, College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland
Updated measures in response to Covid-19
As the health service responds to the global spread of Covid-19 it is important to remember that Anaesthesiologists and Intensive Care Medicine Specialists are experts in their field and have many years of proficiency in dealing with critically ill patients. Our priority as a College, is to support our Fellows & Trainees during this time of uncertainty and we will endeavour to continue operational activity of the College as much as possible in a manner that will minimise disruption to clinicians and any potential risk of disease transmission.The Government has announced additional measures to protect citizens by delaying the spread of Covid-19. The majority of CAI employees are now working from home, in line with recommendations from the Department of Health. As a result, the best way to contact us is by email instead of phone.
We are still open for business
Government advice is that all non-essential travel and non-essential contact with others is now to be avoided. Considering that announcement and in order to protect the health of the College’s staff and visitors, the College’s buildings will remain closed until the Government’s advice changes. While the building may be closed, the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland emphatically remains open for business and the core focus of our work remains supporting our fellows and trainees through this incredibly challenging period.Our main telephone line at reception will continue to be monitored. The best way to contact staff is by email.
As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, so does the pressure on your wellbeing. Look out for each other and your peers.
The Intensive Care Society in the UK share their new wellbeing resource pack developed with Dr Julie Highfield, Clinical Psychologist here . Their poster series aims to improve the understanding of psychological wellbeing at work, the impact reduced wellbeing can have and what we can do in response, and includes tips for dealing with extraordinary situations such as COVID-19 and everyday working in critical care.
The HSE Workplace Health and Wellbeing unit offers their staff a range of support services at this unprecedented time: https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/workplace-health-and-wellbeing-unit/home
The most recent support published on March 16th on minding your mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak is available here: https://healthservice.hse.ie/staff/news/coronavirus/staff-minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html
Prior to contacting a counselling service please consider the most appropriate option for you by observing the functions of other services available on this link; https://www.hse.ie/eng/staff/workplace-health-and-wellbeing-unit/your-support-services/
If you cannot contact a local internal counsellor from the information provided please contact the Staff Care line if National external counselling is the service you require. Telephone – 1800 409388
Information for retired Fellows who want to restore their name on the Medical Council register or voluntary withdraw
The Medical Council has launched a dedicated pathway for doctors to re-join the Medical Council register of medical practitioners as part of the national COVID-19 response. Please visit:https://www.medicalcouncil.ie/existing-registrants-/manage-your-registration/voluntary-withdrawal-and-restoral-.html for further details.
Important update from the Medical Council : Doctors on the Trainee Specialist Division/ Supervised Division
Any site designated as a clinical site in this emergency will be deemed appropriate for doctors on either the Specialist Trainee Division or the Supervised Division provided it is under the supervision of nearest hospital or a Senior Clinician. In current health crisis doctors may be asked to perform duties that are outside their current scope of practice. We recognise this may be necessary, but all tasks and roles carried out should be within a doctor’s capabilities and with adequate supervision.
The Medical Council acknowledges the exceptional circumstances faced by medical practitioners in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland, which will pose considerable medical, ethical, and societal challenges. The Medical Council wishes to express its support for doctors in providing medical care with humanity and dignity to affected patients of all ages, beliefs and cultures. As the impact of the pandemic grows, healthcare resources may become overwhelmed. Allocation of finite healthcare resources in a way that is equitable and just will present difficult choices. Doctors have a duty to use resources prudently and fairly, to produce the most benefits possible for individuals served by those interventions.
The Medical Council recognises the difficulties that this will raise, particularly for healthcare professionals working in Intensive Care Medicine. They will need to evaluate patients and identify those with the best chance of recovery. In making decisions based on the principle of prioritising the use of scarce resources to treat those patients most likely to survive, more lives are likely to be preserved. This appraisal of the potential benefits a treatment might provide to different patients lies within the scope of experienced Intensive Care Medicine doctors. It is acknowledged that patients, families, or allied healthcare professionals, may sometimes hold different views.
The burden of decisions made by medical practitioners during this time of healthcare crisis is shared by the Medical Council and our wider society.
Selfcare and Doctor Health
While providing high levels of medical care during this pandemic, doctors have a duty to protect their own health and contribute to the safety and wellbeing of other healthcare workers. Registered medical practitioners of all levels of training and experience are called upon to do their utmost in giving compassionate care to patients, and wholehearted support to each other. Please remember that amidst the increased workload, longer hours, additional pressure and stress, please take the time to care for yourself. Take breaks, eat regularly, and get rest. All doctors are on the front-line, and the priority for doctors is to self-protect in order to protect and treat others. A sick doctor becomes a patient, while a healthy doctor can treat and see patients or remotely triage and help patients and our communities.
Professional Competence Scheme – update from the Irish Medical Council
Due to significant workload and potential travel disruptions arising due to COVID-19, the Medical Council appreciate that some doctors may choose not to attend European and International medical education related conferences or have difficulty in recording their CPD. If, as a result of this you will not meet your CPD requirements can you please do the following:
- Advise your Professional Competence Scheme by email ( email@example.com.)
- When completing the Annual Retention Application Form (ARAF), tick No you are not compliant.
By doing both of these your circumstances will be taken into consideration in the compliance monitoring process, and if your compliance with the requirements has been consistent in the past, this deviation should not cause you any great concern.
Sources of information
- The Department of Health provides information on the national approach to prevention and control of Covid-19 as the situation evolves: https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/c36c85-covid-19-coronavirus/
- The Department of Foreign Affairs has travel advice on a country by country basis: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/
- Detailed information for health professionals in different care settings is available from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Check it also for regular updates and links to the latest from WHO and the European Centre for Disease Control: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/
- The Health Service Executive provides information and advice for the general public at https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html
These websites will continue to be updated, as will the advice from health authorities around the world.
Specialist educational resources
Guidance document for the Intensive Care Management of the adult patient with confirmed or suspected COVID-19: https://www.intensivecare.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/ICS-Guidelines-COVID-19-V2-1.pdf
Coronavirus Map: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
Coronavirus – guidance for anaesthesia and perioperative care providers ( WFSA) : https://www.wfsahq.org/resources/coronavirus
Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/clinical-management-of-severe-acute-respiratory-infection-when-novel-coronavirus-(ncov)-infection-is-suspected
Algorithms for COVID-19: https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/algorithms/
Health protection surveillance centre advice and guidance on Novel Coronavirus : https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/respiratory/coronavirus/novelcoronavirus/guidance/
A collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, including clinical reports, management guidelines, and commentary.( New England Journal of Medicine): https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus?cid=DM88295&bid=163494080
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) has launched an online training resource for those responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of patients requiring hospital admission is expected to surge which may require the need for non-ICU clinicians to care for critically ill patients.Critical Care for the non-ICU Clinician provides free online education for healthcare professionals who could benefit from critical care training. This is free training for Non-ICU Clinicians to help them get prepared. VISIT sccm.org/covid19<http://SCCM.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT05MjA4NTc3JnA9MSZ1PTEwODM1Mjc3MDcmbGk9NzUwMDA3MDY/index.html> TO ACCESS THE TRAINING
Statement from the national public health emergency team:https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/25663c-statement-from-the-national-public-health-emergency-team-16-
Update on the CAI Congress 2020
We are aware that Anaesthesiologists and Intensive Care specialists will be at the forefront of the response to those most impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The risks of spreading the infection amongst a large number of delegates at our annual scientific meeting and the subsequent lengthy quarantine period creates an unacceptable risk to the health system. Our intensive care units and hospitals networks require our fellows and trainees to stay in hospitals to help manage the outbreak and care for our communities. We have therefore taken the decision to cancel the CAI Congress 2020 which was due to take place in Dublin on May 21st -22nd 2020.
Examinations and CPD events
We have postponed all Examinations and CPD events until the end of May and are currently working rearranging . The CAI examinations calendar will be updated to reflect new times.