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Communique

Weekly Communique # 2

23 April, 2020

WEEK IN REVIEW

The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) is an official community partner of the Taskforce. We met this week to develop a consumer engagement strategy; two consumer representatives will join the taskforce’s Guidelines Leadership Group and CHF will co-host a consumer panel to ensure there is a strong consumer voice informing the development of Australia’s national guidelines for COVID-19.

The role and value of the taskforce continues to grow across the clinical community. A further 15 peak professional bodies have expressed interest in joining the Taskforce and are in the process of identifying representatives to contribute to panels and leadership groups.

A key focus of our work this week has been reviewing the structure of guideline panels and expanding the evidence team to support new panels and topic areas.

Since the official launch of the Taskforce and publication of the first iteration of the living guidelines on Friday 4 April, the website has been visited by 55,000 users and we continue to receive submissions daily via the website.

EXPANDING OUR EXPERT GUIDELINE PANELS

In response to a strong call from the clinical community, the Guidelines Leadership Group has agreed to revise and expand the number of expert panels meeting each week.

The new panels structure will include:

  • Critical Disease Panel
  • Hospital and Acute Care Panel
  • Primary and Chronic Care Panel
  • Palliative and Aged Care Panel
  • Care of Children Panel
  • Pregnancy and Perinatal Care Panel

 


NEW/UPDATED GUIDANCE

NB. Updates to the guidelines this week reflect the shorter weeks for evidence review either side of Easter.

Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19 (V 2.1)

The evidence base for recommendations on antivirals and other disease-modifying treatments* has been updated.

There is still no evidence of effectiveness for ANY treatments for COVID-19 and it remains the recommendation of the Taskforce that experimental therapies should only be given in the context of a clinical trial with appropriate ethical approval.

 


EVIDENCE UNDER REVIEW

We are receiving submissions daily from clinicians across Australia identifying important areas of clinical practice for which there is a lack of guidance around the care of people with proven or suspected COVID-19.

New recommendations currently being developed cover:

  • Steroid use in people with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • The use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and other forms of noninvasive ventilation (NIV)
  • Protocols for managing stroke and cardiac arrest

In addition, the National Guidelines Leadership Group this week endorsed the review of evidence around the use of anticoagulants in COVID-19 as a matter of high priority.

 


NEW TOPICS & QUESTIONS

Feedback on the initial guidelines continues to generate a wide range of suggestions for questions and topics that should be included:

Topics