Document Type



Anaesthesiology (East Africa)


Introduction: SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as the cause of the disease officially named COVID-19, primarily a respiratory illness. COVID-19 was characterised as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. It has been estimated that approximately 20% of people with COVID-19 require oxygen therapy. Oxygen has been listed on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines List and Essential Medicines List for Children for almost two decades. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, more than ever, the acute need for scale-up of oxygen therapy. Detailed data on the use of oxygen therapy in low-and-middle income countries at the patient and facility level are needed to target interventions better globally.

Methods and analysis: We aim to describe the requirements and use of oxygen at the facility and patient level of approximately 4500 patients with COVID-19 in 30 countries. Our objectives are specifically to characterise type and duration of different modalities of oxygen therapy delivered to patients; describe demographics and outcomes of hospitalised patients with COVID-19; and describe facility-level oxygen production and support. Primary analyses will be descriptive in nature. Respiratory support transitions will be described in Sankey plots, and Kaplan-Meier models will be used to estimate probability of each transition. A multistate model will be used to study the course of hospital stay of the study population, evaluating transitions of escalating respiratory support transitions to the absorbing states.

Ethics and dissemination: WHO Ad Hoc COVID-19 Research Ethics Review Committee (ERC) has approved this global protocol. When this protocol is adopted at specific country sites, national ERCs may make require adjustments in accordance with their respective national research ethics guidelines. Dissemination of this protocol and global findings will be open access through peer-reviewed scientific journals, study website, press and online media.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.