RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: Edited by Giacomo BellaniPreparedness of ICU networks for pandemicsFlorio, Gaetanoa; Zanella, Albertoa,b; Pesenti, Antonioa,bAuthor Information aDepartment of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan bDipartimento di Anestesia, Rianimazione ed Emergenza-Urgenza, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy Correspondence to Alberto Zanella, MD, Dipartimento di Anestesia-Rianimazione e Emergenza Urgenza, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda - Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Via Della Commenda 16, 20122 Milan, Italy. Tel: +39 2 5503 3232; fax: +39 2 5503 3230; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Critical Care: February 2021 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 13-19 doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000792 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review The recent COVID-19 outbreak has clearly shown how epidemics/pandemics can challenge developed countries’ healthcare systems. Proper management of equipment and human resources is critical to provide adequate medical care to all patients admitted to the hospital and the ICU for both pandemic-related and unrelated reasons. Recent findings Appropriate separate paths for infected and noninfected patients and prompt isolation of infected critical patients in dedicated ICUs play a pivotal role in limiting the contagions and optimizing resources during pandemics. The key to handle these challenging events is to learn from past experiences and to be prepared for future occurrences. Hospital space should be redesigned to quickly increase medical and critical care capacity, and healthcare workers (critical and noncritical) should be trained in advance. Summary A targeted improvement of hospital and ICU protocols will increase medical care quality for patients admitted to the hospital for any clinical reasons during a pandemic. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.