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An African, Multi-Centre Evaluation of Patient Care and Clinical Outcomes for Patients with COVID-19 Infection Admitted to High-Care or Intensive Care Units
31 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2020More...
Background: There is little data on critically ill COVID-19 patients in under-resourced environments, and none from Africa. The objectives of this study were to determine resources, patient comorbidities and critical care interventions associated with mortality in critically ill COVID-19 African patients.
Methods: African multicentre, prospective observational cohort study of adult patients referred to intensive care or high-care units with suspected or known COVID-19 infection. Patient follow up was until hospital discharge, censored at 30 days. The study recruited from March to September 2020.
Findings: 1243 patients from 38 hospitals in six countries participated. The hospitals had a median of 2 (interquartile range (IQR) 1-4) intensivists, with a nurse to patient ratio of 1:2 (IQR 1:3 to 1:1). Pulse oximetry was available to all patients in 29/35 (82·9%) sites, and 21/35 (60%) of sites could provide dialysis or proning. The 30-day mortality following critical care admission was 54·7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 51·9-57·6). Factors independently associated with mortality were an increasing age (odds ratio (OR) 1·04, 95% CI 1·02-1·05, p<0·001), a quick SOFA score of 3 (OR 3·61, 95% CI 1·41-9·24, p=0·01), increasing respiratory support defined as the need for continuous positive airway pressure (OR 5·86, 95% CI 1·47-23·35, p=0·01), invasive mechanical ventilation (OR 16·42, 95% CI 4·52-59·65, p<0·001), three organ systems requiring support at admission (OR 5·52, 95% CI 1·13-27·01, p=0·04), cardiorespiratory arrest within 24 hours prior to admission (OR 4·43, 95% CI 1·01-19·54, p=0·05) and vasopressor requirements (OR 2·73, 95% CI 1·71-4·36, p<0·001). Human immunodeficiency virus was not associated with mortality (OR 1·84, 95% CI 0·99-3·40, p=0·05).
Interpretation: Mortality in critically ill COVID-19 African patients is higher than any other region, with an excess mortality of 18 and 29 deaths per 100 patients compared to other regions. Mortality is associated with limited critical care resources and severity of organ dysfunction at admission.
Trial Registration: This study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04367207).
Funding Statement: African Covid-19 Critical Care Outcomes Study (ACCCOS) was partially supported by a grant from the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa.
Declaration of Interests: We have no competing interests to declare.
Ethics Approval Statement: The primary ethics approval was from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Cape Town (HREC 213/2020)
Keywords: Critical care, COVID-19, public health
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation