Facing Covid-19 in Italy: Ethics, Logistics, and Therapeutics on the Epidemic’s Front Line

Bottom Line: In Italy, resource scarcity in hospitals resulted in an ethical dilemma of deciding which patient gets access to the limited number of ventilators. The article discusses important process--related principles when approaching resource scarcity and highlights the importance of transparency and inclusivity in patient care. Reference: Rosenbaum, L. Facing Covid-19 in Italy—ethics, logistics, and … Continue reading Facing Covid-19 in Italy: Ethics, Logistics, and Therapeutics on the Epidemic’s Front Line

Hydroxychloroquine: A Potential Ethical Dilemma for Rheumatologists during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Bottom Line: Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are two antimalarial drugs commonly used in  the treatment of rheumatic diseases. However, these medications have recently attracted media attention with the idea that these drugs may play a role in the management of COVID-19. This creates an ethical dilemma involving resource scarcity and resource allocation away from routine rheumatology … Continue reading Hydroxychloroquine: A Potential Ethical Dilemma for Rheumatologists during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The effect of COVID-19 on air pollution

NASA Bottom Line: Early data demonstrates a marked reduction in air pollution, specifically NO2 and CO2, both produced by burning fossil fuels. It is estimated that even if the observed figures were underestimated, there would be at minimum a 6% reduction in pollution related illness over two months, preventing the death of roughly 100,000 pollution-related … Continue reading The effect of COVID-19 on air pollution

The ethics and science behind the COVID-19 social distancing interventions

Bottom Line: The scientific and ethical basis for quarantine and social distancing are multifaceted, and their effectiveness depends on the credibility of  public health authorities, as well as the transparency of political leaders and institutions. Reference: Lewnard, J.A. & Nathan, C.L. Scientific and ethical basis for social-distancing interventions against COVID-19. The Lancet. Infectious diseases (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30190-0 Date … Continue reading The ethics and science behind the COVID-19 social distancing interventions

Allocation of scarce medical resources during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bottom Line: In a time of resource scarcity, the following six recommendations should be used to develop guidelines that can lead to optimal and equal treatment of individuals at risk: maximizing benefits, PPE priority to frontline workers, random selection, prioritization of populations at risk, prioritization of participants in clinical trials, and fair allocation of resources … Continue reading Allocation of scarce medical resources during the COVID-19 pandemic

Global socioeconomic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

Bottom Line: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on several aspects of human life. Measures taken to control this pandemic have led to a decrease in workforce across all economic sectors and has caused many jobs to be lost. Worldwide, the socioeconomic effects from this pandemic have sparked a fear of impending economic … Continue reading Global socioeconomic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

Post-traumatic stress and psychological distress amongst healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Bottom Line: During an epidemic, healthcare workers have greater levels of both acute or post-traumatic stress and psychological distress. Effective intervention measures have been shown to help mitigate the psychological distress experienced by healthcare workers that are caring for affected patients in an emerging disease outbreak. Reference: Kisely, S. et al. Occurrence, prevention, and management … Continue reading Post-traumatic stress and psychological distress amongst healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Lack of basic infection control and prevention measures in low-income countries

Bottom Line: Low-income countries lack basic infection control and prevention measures such as proper hand hygiene, as well as access to and proper use of personal protective equipment. Reference: Roder-DeWan, S. Health system quality in the time of COVID-19. The Lancet Global Health (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30223-0 Date Published: 6 May 2020 Synopsis: The quality of the existing health … Continue reading Lack of basic infection control and prevention measures in low-income countries

Women in Asia and the Pacific are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19

Bottom Line : United Nations surveys demonstrate women in Asia and the Pacific are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Reference: UN Women. Surveys show that COVID-19 has gendered effects in Asia and the Pacific. [Internet]. 2020 April 29. Available from: https://data.unwomen.org/resources/surveys-show-covid-19-has-gendered-effects-asia-and-pacific Note: this is not a peer-reviewed article. Date Published: 29 April 2020 Synopsis: Two weeks … Continue reading Women in Asia and the Pacific are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19

Are school closures due to COVID-19 putting the learning of children from lower income households at risk?

Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press Bottom Line: Widespread school closures places the health and learning needs of children in lower income households at risk. Reference: Lancker, W.V. & Parolin, Z. COVID-19, school closures, and child poverty: a social crisis in the making. Lancet Public Health (2020). https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30084-0 Date Published: 7 April 2020 Synopsis: The implementation of … Continue reading Are school closures due to COVID-19 putting the learning of children from lower income households at risk?