AIIMS’ Virtual Consultation Programme Gains Traction

The e-ICU video-consultation program, initiated by the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in New Delhi to hold case-management discussions with doctors dealing with COVID-19 patients across the country, is gaining traction and has covered 43 big hospitals in 11 states across the country so far.

According to an official statement, four e-ICU sessions have been held to date covering 43 institutions in Mumbai, Goa, Delhi, Gujarat, Telangana, Assam, Karnataka, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

“The primary objective of these discussions is to reduce mortality from COVID-19 by learning from shared experience and strengthening best practices among hospitals with 1000 beds including isolation beds, oxygen supported and ICU beds,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement on Monday.

The program, which aims to strengthen the central government’s efforts to reduce COVID-19 mortality by holding case-management discussions among doctors who are at the frontline in treating COVID-19 patients, was kicked off on July 8.

The video consultations in the coming weeks will cover ICU doctors from smaller healthcare facilities, including those having 500 beds or more, across the country.

Physicians who manage COVID-19 patients can raise queries, present their experience, and share knowledge with other physicians and experts from AIIMS, New Delhi on this video consultation platform.

“Each of these sessions conducted through Video Conference span over 1.5 to 2 hours. The discussions have covered the entire range of issues related to the management of COVID-19 patients,” the statement said.

“Some of the important issues that have been stressed upon are the need for rational use of ‘investigational therapies’ like Remdesevir, convalescent plasma, and Tocilizumab. The treating teams have discussed the current indications and possible harm due to their indiscriminate use and the need to limit social-media pressure based prescriptions,” it said.

The use of proning, high flow oxygen, non-invasive ventilation, ventilator settings for advanced disease, and the role of various testing strategies in diagnosis have also been a common discussion point in the video consultations.

The Ministry said that issues like the need for repeat testing, admission and discharge criteria, management of post-discharge symptoms, and return to work have also been addressed in these consultations.

“Some of the other common concerns have been the methods of communication with patients, screening of health-care workers, managing new-onset diabetes, uncommon presentations such as stroke, diarrhoea, and myocardial infarction, etc,” the Ministry said.

“The team from AIIMS, New Delhi was able to act as a bridge for new knowledge from one group to the other at each VC, apart from advising from its own experience and the extensive literature reviews done by the domain experts,” it added. (ANI)

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