Despite critical hypoxemia, Covid-19 patients may present without proportional signs of respiratory distress. We report three patients with critical respiratory failure due to Covid-19, in which all presented with severe hypoxemia refractory to supplemental oxygen therapy. We discuss possible strategies for ventilatory support in the emergency pre-hospital setting, and point out some pitfalls regarding the management of these patients. Guidelines for pre-hospital care of critically ill Covid-19 patients cannot be established based on the current evidence base, and we have to apply our understanding of respiratory physiology and mechanics in order to optimize respiratory support.
Read the full case report here.