Surgical Support for Severe COVID-19 Patients: A Retrospective Cohort Study in a French High-Density COVID-19 Cluster

Eric Noll, Christophe Muccioli, Pierre Olivier Ludes, Julien Pottecher, Pierre Diemunsch, Sophie Diemunsch, Anaëlle Tchentcheli, Philippe Clavert, Girish P. Joshi, Philippe A. Liverneaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. The COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in a massive surge in the need for intensive care unit (ICU) care. To avoid being overwhelmed, hospitals had to adapt and support the ICU teams in structured ICU care including involving surgical teams. This work aims at describing the collaborative efforts between the ICU care team and the Surgical Task Force (STF) during a surge of ICU activity in a University Hospital in a French high-density COVID-19 cluster. Study Design. This retrospective single center study analyzed the STF workflow and the ICU population. The study included 55 patients hospitalized in our ICU, ICU-converted step-down units, and post-anesthesia care units. The primary measure was the global daily STF activity. The secondary measure was the daily activity for each of the 5 tasks accomplished by the STF. Results. The STF attempted 415 phone calls for 55 patients’ families, 237 mobilizations of patients requiring prone positions, follow-up of 20 patients requiring medevac, and contribution to ethical discussion for 2 patients. The mean (SD) daily number of successful phones calls, ethical discussions, mobilizations of patients requiring prone positions and medevac follow-up were 18 (7),.1 (.4), 10 (7), and 2 (3), respectively. No actions for discharge summaries writing were required. The maximum number of daily mobilizations for patients requiring prone positions was 25. The maximum number of daily attempted phone calls and successful phone calls were 37 and 26, respectively. Conclusion. Surgeons’ technical and nontechnical skills represented an effective support for ICU teams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-569
Number of pages6
JournalSurgical Innovation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • intensive care unit
  • surgical non-technical skills
  • surgical technical skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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