Authors: De Maio A, Hightower LE

PMID: 32424591 PMCID: PMC7232923 DOI: 10.1007/s12192-020-01121-0


The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become an unprecedented challenge for the healthcare system worldwide, with an overwhelming number of patients requiring clinical attention and an unacceptably high mortality rate within critical care facilities. COVID-19 is caused by a novel enveloped virus containing a single positive RNA strand, designated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), first identified in China. The virus shows a high rate of infection, spreading very rapidly among the population that, in this era of swift international connections, has resulted in a global pandemic. The lack of drug treatments and vaccines for this condition has resulted in a mitigation approach to avoid community transmission, consisting of a general lockdown of the populations producing a tremendous burden for the global economy.

Keywords: COVID-19, acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS, hyperbaric oxygen therapy