The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak began in northern Italy in early February and quickly spread to the rest of the peninsula. It has been a major public health issue highlighting the challenges for the health system to quickly ramp up capacity in the face of a pandemic and in particular in accident and emergency departments, intensive care, and insufficient supply of critical equipment such as ventilators but also personal protective equipment. The shortage of personal protective equipment not only puts medical professionals’ lives at risk (at the time of writing more than 60 Italian doctors have died as a result of COVID-19) but also increases the risk of contagion within the hospital. Although elective surgery has been reduced, emergency surgery has continued and thus so has general anesthesia, without availability of the necessary protection. The inability...

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