For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations
Park Ridge, Ill.—The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) has compiled resources to help Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) develop strategic steps for managing patients with expected or confirmed infection of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“CRNAs are on the frontlines of patient care. To guide them as they deliver safe and effective anesthesia care while keeping themselves healthy, the AANA has provided a series of considerations specific to the perioperative setting and summarized recommendations from top national and international healthcare organizations,” said Brett Morgan, DNP, CRNA, AANA senior director, Education and Practice.
“As highly trained advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs provide anesthesia care to all patients and are called upon to help manage patients experiencing respiratory distress and failure. This often involves invasive airway management, which places CRNAs at high risk for disease exposure,” said Morgan. “COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, therefore it is imperative for CRNAs and all healthcare providers to be prepared with the most current infection control precautions and considerations to remain safe.”
Recommendations include frequent, meticulous handwashing and the use of personal protective equipment for all anesthesia professionals. The AANA also recommends that CRNAs follow strict environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures and other measures to minimize spread of the virus. A more comprehensive list of considerations from the AANA is available.
“We will continue to monitor the situation, particularly as CRNAs may be called upon to care for patients infected with the disease,” said Morgan. “Excellence in care, safety, and continuous improvement of care are hallmarks of the CRNA profession.”
CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 49 million anesthetics to patients annually in the United States. They are the primary providers of anesthesia care among U.S. military personnel and in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management, and trauma stabilization services.