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May - 2020

   

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Baseline Characteristics and Outcomes of 1591 Patients Infected With SARS-CoV-2 Admitted to ICUs of the Lombardy Region, Italy

Giacomo Grasselli, Alberto Zangrillo, Alberto Zanella, et al JAMA, 2020, 323(16):1574-1581

Comment

Many of us have been waiting for this, a sobering, detailed, description of the ICU characteristics of the large population of Lombardy patients, to help us understand what we are col-lectively facing. 

This retrospective case series tells us;

- Over a 1-month period in Lombardy, the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak led to 17713 people with COVID-19 disease,  and 1591 (9%) critically ill requiring ICU admission. 

- SARS-CoV-2 infection was defined as positive RT-PCR of nasal/np swab

- This series provides details on 1591 patients referred to Milan coordinating centre.

- Demographics: 82% male, median age 63 yrs, 23% over 70, 68% at least 1 comorbidity, predominantly cardiovascular.

- Microbiology

- ICU: Median admission PF 160, FiO2 0.70, 88% MV, 11% NIV, prone 27%, ECMO 1%., median PEEP 14. 

- Outcomes: ICU mortality 26% (58% still in ICU), 60-70 yrs (29%), 70-80 yrs (40%), >80yrs (52%). Mortality higher in older patients. Median ICU LOS 9 days

 

Abstract

Importance  In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]) emerged in China and has spread globally, creating a pandemic. Information about the clinical characteristics of infected patients who require intensive care is limited.

Objective  To characterize patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requiring treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) in the Lombardy region of Italy.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Retrospective case series of 1591 consecutive patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 referred for ICU admission to the coordinator center (Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy) of the COVID-19 Lombardy ICU Network and treated at one of the ICUs of the 72 hospitals in this network between February 20 and March 18, 2020. Date of final follow-up was March 25, 2020.

Exposures  SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay of nasal and pharyngeal swabs.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Demographic and clinical data were collected, including data on clinical management, respiratory failure, and patient mortality. Data were recorded by the coordinator center on an electronic worksheet during telephone calls by the staff of the COVID-19 Lombardy ICU Network.

Results  Of the 1591 patients included in the study, the median (IQR) age was 63 (56-70) years and 1304 (82%) were male. Of the 1043 patients with available data, 709 (68%) had at least 1 comorbidity and 509 (49%) had hypertension. Among 1300 patients with available respiratory support data, 1287 (99% [95% CI, 98%-99%]) needed respiratory support, including 1150 (88% [95% CI, 87%-90%]) who received mechanical ventilation and 137 (11% [95% CI, 9%-12%]) who received noninvasive ventilation. The median positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) was 14 (IQR, 12-16) cm H2O, and Fio2 was greater than 50% in 89% of patients. The median Pao2/Fio2 was 160 (IQR, 114-220). The median PEEP level was not different between younger patients (n = 503 aged ≤63 years) and older patients (n = 514 aged ≥64 years) (14 [IQR, 12-15] vs 14 [IQR, 12-16] cm H2O, respectively; median difference, 0 [95% CI, 0-0]; P = .94). Median Fio2 was lower in younger patients: 60% (IQR, 50%-80%) vs 70% (IQR, 50%-80%) (median difference, −10% [95% CI, −14% to 6%]; P = .006), and median Pao2/Fio2 was higher in younger patients: 163.5 (IQR, 120-230) vs 156 (IQR, 110-205) (median difference, 7 [95% CI, −8 to 22]; P = .02). Patients with hypertension (n = 509) were older than those without hypertension (n = 526) (median [IQR] age, 66 years [60-72] vs 62 years [54-68]; P < .001) and had lower Pao2/Fio2 (median [IQR], 146 [105-214] vs 173 [120-222]; median difference, −27 [95% CI, −42 to −12]; P = .005). Among the 1581 patients with ICU disposition data available as of March 25, 2020, 920 patients (58% [95% CI, 56%-61%]) were still in the ICU, 256 (16% [95% CI, 14%-18%]) were discharged from the ICU, and 405 (26% [95% CI, 23%-28%]) had died in the ICU. Older patients (n = 786; age ≥64 years) had higher mortality than younger patients (n = 795; age ≤63 years) (36% vs 15%; difference, 21% [95% CI, 17%-26%]; P < .001).

Conclusions and Relevance  In this case series of critically ill patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 admitted to ICUs in Lombardy, Italy, the majority were older men, a large proportion required mechanical ventilation and high levels of PEEP, and ICU mortality was 26%.

May


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