Practical strategies to reduce nosocomial transmission to healthcare professionals providing respiratory care to patients with COVID-19

Crit Care. 2020 Sep 23;24(1):571. doi: 10.1186/s13054-020-03231-8.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an emerging viral infection that is rapidly spreading across the globe. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the same coronavirus class that caused respiratory illnesses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). During the SARS and MERS outbreaks, many frontline healthcare workers were infected when performing high-risk aerosol-generating medical procedures as well as when providing basic patient care. Similarly, COVID-19 disease has been reported to infect healthcare workers at a rate of ~ 3% of cases treated in the USA. In this review, we conducted an extensive literature search to develop practical strategies that can be implemented when providing respiratory treatments to COVID-19 patients, with the aim to help prevent nosocomial transmission to the frontline workers.

Keywords: Aerosol-generating procedures; Nosocomial infection; Respiratory care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / adverse effects
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / virology
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic


  • Aerosols