From the FDA (hat tip: Dr. Menadue):

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to permit the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine sulfate supplied from the Strategic National Stockpile to treat adults and adolescents who weigh 50 kg or more and are hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available, or participation is not feasible.



Adapting Emergency Departments for the COVID-19 Surge

From Contagion Live:

Over 1 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported. As cases rise and we eventually hit a peak, health care systems will be overwhelmed they are not prepared.

There is a concept in disaster preparedness known as “sudden onset disaster mass casualty incidents” which surge response guidelines are designed around. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has undoubtedly introduced a surge in demand for medical services in key affected areas, but how much do these guidelines apply to present circumstances?

The investigators of a new study published in Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness have applied the concept of sudden onset mass casualty incident surge capability to the process of expanding COVID-19 pandemic surge response. This has led to creating a checklist to guide emergency departments in their COVID-19 surge structural response.

The study authors reviewed available surge structural science literature to determine applications to the ongoing pandemic response.

Oxygenation and Ventilation of COVID-19 Patients

From the American Heart Association:

The materials in this toolkit are provided as quick resources and refreshers for healthcare providers who may be called to assist in critical care roles that are beyond their routine daily activities for COVID-19 patients. The American Heart Association still advocates that advanced airways be inserted and managed by the most experienced members of the clinical care team. These materials provide important information for the team members helping to support the ongoing ventilation management of COVID-19 patients.

Unexpected Consequence of COVID-19 Crisis: Empty Emergency Rooms

From Inside Sources:

An anxious ER nurse in Los Angeles took to Facebook recently to ask whether any of her colleagues nationwide were experiencing layoffs because hospital emergency rooms are virtually empty — one of the most surprising unintended consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

“This doesn’t seem to be talked about at all… People are losing their shifts and paychecks and jobs,” the L.A. nurse wrote. “We only had 5 people in the whole ER when they sent me home. My agency sent out an email blast basically saying that there are a lot of people struggling to find shifts.

“So, I’m curious if any other nurses are experiencing this?”

The response to her post was overwhelming.

White House considers using hospital relief funds to pay for uninsured

From Modern Healthcare:

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the Trump administration is considering using $100 billion that Congress designated for hospital relief to pay for COVID-19 treatment for the uninsured.

“The White House Coronavirus Task Force is working on a proposal for the president to use some of the $100 billion we are making available to hospitals to compensate the hospitals directly for any coronavirus treatment they provide to uninsured Americans,” Pence said.

Choosing to use the provider reimbursement fund to pay for treatment for the uninsured instead of reopening enrollment for the Affordable Care Act exchanges could potentially shift costs from insurers to hospitals and siphon hospital funds away from a hotspot like New York toward states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act such as Florida and Texas.

‘Unprecedented’ COVID crisis sparks new Pritzker order, shielding doctors, hospitals from ‘plague’ of post-crisis lawsuits

From the Cook County Record:

Illinois hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities responding to the COVID-19 outbreak have been granted some legal protection by the state, potentially shielding them from suffering an outbreak of post-crisis malpractice lawsuits brought by trial lawyers.

On April 1, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order, extending legal protections to hospitals and a variety of other health care facilities and health care providers who the state says are “rendering assistance” to Illinois’ efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

It marked the 19th executive order signed by the governor since he issued a disaster proclamation on March 9 over the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois.

In the document, filed as Executive Order 2020-19, Pritzker cites authority under the Illinois Emergency Management Act and the state’s Good Samaritan Act to grant broad protection from “civil liability” for “health care facilities, health care professionals and health care volunteers”  who are “’rendering assistance’ in support of the State’s response” to COVID-19

Indian Health Service, rural areas to have priority access to rapid coronavirus tests

From Politico:

Rapid point-of-care coronavirus tests will be used to support areas of the country with the least access to testing, as well as nursing homes, White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx told reporters today.

“These are new tests, and we have prioritized the groups that we think have the least access to testing now,” Birx said. Priority will be given to the Indian Health Service and rural areas that do not have access to labs that perform high-volume coronavirus tests, she said.