SIM Scenario Exchange

Respiratory failure in a patient with coronavirus

Contributed on April 1, 2020, last updated July 14, 2022.



Alim Nagji, MD CCFP-EM, Joseph Brant Hospital & McMaster University
Rabia Bana, MD MPH CCFP DTMH, McMaster University

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A 47 year old male presents with acute respiratory failure via EMS. He rapidly decompensates upon arrival. His travel history is missed on initial screening by EMS due his severity so he is transferred to the trauma bay without appropriate precautions. Part-way through the case his travel history is revealed (if not already asked for) and the team must appropriately don /doff PPE and build a plan for safe intubation.

Learning Objectives:

Recognize relevance of travel history during an outbreak
Use appropriate PPE and have a minimum number of staff exposed
Intubate the patient using appropriate guidelines for a suspected PUI with coronavirus
Call public health to discuss appropriateness for novel coronavirus testing
Initiate isolation procedures including negative pressure room
Communicate an appropriate resuscitative plan in a high exposure patient using closed loop communication and effective delegation by team leader

Simulation Modality:



Mid/high-fidelity manikin


Run several times


Nagji A, Bana R. Respiratory failure in a patient with coronavirus. Simulation resource published by Simulation Canada; 2020. Available from

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Target Learners




Practical Nursing


Continuing professional development

Fields / Disciplines:

Emergency / trauma

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