This week we welcomed the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine as a new member of the Taskforce.
Two new expert guideline panels have been formed and will meet for the first time this week:
The first of a series of internal process evaluations conducted by Dr Tari Turner was reported to the Steering Committee. There is a high level of satisfaction with progress among Taskforce contributors and a strong sense of pride in what has been achieved (respondents: 95.5% extremely (64.5%) or somewhat satisfied (31%), 4.5% neutral)
Key activity measures (as at 4 may) include:
Australian guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19: Version 5.0
Despite the (understandably) high level of anticipation and anxiety across the world, there is still no reliable evidence to support the use of antivirals and other disease-modifying treatments for COVID-10. The Taskforce continues to strongly recommend that experimental therapies should only be given in the context of a randomised trial.
Our daily evidence surveillance is monitoring the global literature for more than 260 medicines that may be under investigation to treat COVID-19. At the time of census for version 5.0 update (6 May), only a very small number of clinical trials have published results and all have been deemed low quality:
A new recommendation has been added regarding the use of higher versus lower positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) for mechanically ventilated patients
A new recommendation has been added regarding the continuation of Angiotensinconverting- enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) in people who develop COVID-19.
NB–The Taskforce is currently reviewing the evidence in order to make urgent recommendations on the use of high dose VTE prophylaxis in patients with severe and critical COVID-19. This is in response to emerging observational data indicating a high incidence of VTE among people with COVID-19.
Five clinical flowcharts have been developed by the taskforce to cover:
Updates this week cover:
Minor updates only were also made to reflect updated guidance from the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in noninpatient healthcare settings (available here).
We are currently reviewing evidence to develop recommendations and flowcharts to guide
practice in areas including:
The use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)Protocols for managing stroke and cardiac arrest
We’re working to strengthen and streamline our new topic and question prioritisation process.
A new submissions form will be live on the Taskforce website from Friday 15 May to enable us to gather richer information about important clinical issues not currently addressed by the guidelines or flowcharts.
We’re also working closely with Cochrane to draw on Cochrane Reviews and Rapid Reviews being undertaken around the world.
Cochrane Rapid Reviews currently in progress (at 6 May) include:
More about Cochrane’s COVID-19 response is available here