General Anesthesia Recommendations for Electroconvulsive Therapy During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

J ECT. 2020 Sep;36(3):152-155. doi: 10.1097/YCT.0000000000000705.


Coronavirus disease 2019 is an infectious viral disease first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and very rapidly spread globally resulting in a pandemic. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Although the majority of patients recover, there are still a significant number of patients who progress to respiratory failure, multiorgan failure, and death. The virus is mainly spread during close contact and by small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, or talking. Because of the highly contagious element and easy spread in a communal living arrangement that exists within an inpatient psychiatric hospitals, the following guidelines were established to improve patient and staff safety while still maintaining efficiency and capability to provide this needed treatment to a subgroup of patients.

Objective: The objective of this study was to devise a safe and efficient methodology to deliver potential lifesaving electroconvulsive therapy to inpatients during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care
  • Anesthesia, General / methods*
  • COVID-19
  • Checklist
  • Coronavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / diagnosis