Management of transgender patients in critical care
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As clinicians working in critical care, it is our duty to provide all of our patients with the high-quality care they deserve, regardless of their gender identity. The transgender community continues to suffer discrimination from the media, politicians and general public. As healthcare workers we often pride ourselves on our ability to safely care for all patients. However, there remains a distinct lack of understanding surrounding the care of critically ill transgender patients. This is likely in part because the specific care of transgender patients is not included in the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine’s, Royal College of Anaesthetists’, Royal College of Physician’s, or Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s curriculum. There are several important considerations relevant for transgender patients in critical care including anatomical changes to the airway, alterations to respiratory and cardiovascular physiology and management of hormone therapy. Alongside this, there are simple but important social factors that exist, such as the use of patient pronouns and ensuring admittance to correctly gendered wards. In this review we will address the key points relevant to the care of transgender patients in critical care and provide suggestions on how education on the subject may be improved.
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