UK Intensive Care Society Guideance

Guidance to members on Ebola

The Intensive Care Society refers its members to the Ebola guidance given on the Department of Health website. It is anticipated that all suspected cases will be transferred to a high level isolation unit (Royal Free Hospital or Newcastle). The ICS recommends that critical care admission should be considered only where full Trexler isolation facilities can be provided. Currently this means that referral and transfer to a high level isolation unit should precede the decision to offer critical care support (see the Public Health England guidance).

Ebola is primarily a disease causing gastrointestinal disturbance and haemorrhagic fever, with associated problems of fluid balance. It is not a primary respiratory condition, and the clinical need for respiratory support is thought to be very rare except in those patients in extremis. The risk-benefit ratio of artificial ventilation and the associated creation of aerosols, which could pose a significant risk to other patients, relations, staff and thereby of dissemination of the condition to the wider public, should be carefully balanced against the assumed benefit to the individual, on a case-by-case basis.


Prof Mark Bellamy
Intensive Care Unit
St James's University Hospital
Leeds LS9 7TF
Mobile 07747057574
Fax 0113 206 4141
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