1 in 10 healthcare workers involved in tracheal intubation of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID‐19 subsequently reported a COVID‐19 outcome.

This has human resource implications for institutional capacity to deliver essential healthcare services, and wider societal implications for COVID‐19 transmission. Findings from the Intubate COVID study published in June 2020 in Anaesthesia Journal: “Risks to healthcare workers following tracheal intubation of patients with COVID‐19: a prospective international multicentre cohort study”.

Healthcare workers involved in aerosol‐generating procedures, such as tracheal intubation, may be at elevated risk of acquiring COVID‐19. However, the magnitude of this risk is unknown. We conducted a prospective international multicentre cohort study recruiting healthcare workers participating in tracheal intubation of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID‐19. Information on tracheal intubation episodes, personal protective equipment use and subsequent provider health status was collected via self‐reporting. The primary endpoint was the incidence of laboratory‐confirmed COVID‐19 diagnosis or new symptoms requiring self‐isolation or hospitalisation after a tracheal intubation episode. Cox regression analysis examined associations between the primary endpoint and healthcare worker characteristics, procedure‐related factors and personal protective equipment use. Between 23 March and 2 June 2020, 1718 healthcare workers from 503 hospitals in 17 countries reported 5148 tracheal intubation episodes. The overall incidence of the primary endpoint was 10.7% over a median (IQR [range]) follow‐up of 32 (18–48 [0–116]) days. The cumulative incidence within 7, 14 and 21 days of the first tracheal intubation episode was 3.6%, 6.1% and 8.5%, respectively. The risk of the primary endpoint varied by country and was higher in women, but was not associated with other factors. Around 1 in 10 healthcare workers involved in tracheal intubation of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID‐19 subsequently reported a COVID‐19 outcome. This has human resource implications for institutional capacity to deliver essential healthcare services, and wider societal implications for COVID‐19 transmission.

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