Infectious diseases

COVID-19 Clinical Guide

By now we’re all intimately familiar with the new coronavirus which has spread across six continents infecting millions of people and killing hundreds of thousands.

In this Clinical Guide we hope to equip you with a basic understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the COVID-19 infection, and its prognosis. Sound good? Then scroll down to see a list of our articles below.

An introduction to COVID-19: The disease

In these articles, we'll introduce you to the pathogen that causes COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We'll review its basic structure, how it infects cells, and how we can use this information to target potential therapies. We’ll then outline the most common symptoms associated with the disease both in hospitalized patients and those in the community. We review the clinical characteristics that increase a patient’s risk of getting severely ill or dying from COVID-19, and how the disease can progress week by week, from the initial onset of symptoms to hospitalization, recovery, or death. Lastly, COVID-19 is classified as a respiratory illness but we know it can also affect other organ systems. So, we’ll look at some of the non-respiratory complications associated with infection in hopes of helping you quickly recognize and manage these potential complications in very sick patients. By identifying and immediately isolating potentially infective patients you’ll be in a position to help minimize the spread of the virus and help contain the pandemic.

Get started with these articles covering the essential information you need about COVID-19:

A general introduction to interpreting diagnostic tests

In the articles in this chapter, we review the essentials of interpreting diagnostic tests. We explain how to determine test validity and summarize how to interpret sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value so that you're prepared to evaluate the results from tests used to diagnose COVID-19.

A look at the current lab tests for COVID-19

In this chapter we summarize the key information about the most common laboratory tests used for diagnosing COVID-19. We explain RT-PCR, (which is the gold standard for diagnosing current infection with SARS-CoV-2), review antibody tests (also known as serology), and, lastly, we summarize the basics of the newer antigen tests which could become very useful in the future. Spoiler: They basically work like a pregnancy test, their results are almost immediate, and if they become broadly available in large quantities, these tests could become a game changer for the control of the COVID-19!

CT imaging for COVID-19

In the articles in this chapter, we summarize the experiences of our special guest Radiologist Osamah Alwalid, a radiologist based in Wuhan, China who uses CT scans to diagnose patients with COVID-19. He and his colleagues were among the first to describe these very characteristic findings in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, so we're pretty excited to be able to share his experiences with you!

Handheld ECHO during the COVID-19 pandemic

In the articles in this chapter, explore the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of inpatient echocardiography services, the role of handheld echocardiography (HHE) devices in the diagnosis and management of patients with COVID-19, and the indications for HHE in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients.

Performing handheld ECHO during the COVID-19 pandemic

Handheld echocardiography (HHE) can be used to answer key clinical questions for intensive-care patients with COVID-19. In the articles in this chapter, you’ll learn how to obtain a focused dataset with HHE, assess heart physiology and impairments, and determine volume status for ventilated patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.

Special considerations for using handheld ECHO during the COVID-19 pandemic

There are important considerations surrounding the use of handheld echocardiography (HHE) during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the articles in this chapter, you’ll explore how to accurately report your HHE findings to a critical care team, the limitations of HHE, and learn tips to prevent viral transmission during an echocardiography procedure.

Point-of-care-ultrasound (POCUS) for COVID-19

Lung ultrasound is a powerful tool that helps clinicians evaluate patients who might have COVID-19. In this COVID-19 mini course, you will learn how to use point-of-care-ultrasound (POCUS) at the bedside, acquire and interpret lung ultrasound in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, and understand how to use this knowledge to care for your infected patients.

Medmastery COVID-19 Resource Guide