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Ann Intensive Care . Comparison of clinical characteristics and hospital mortality in critically ill patients without COVID-19 before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multicenter, retrospective, propensity score-matched study

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  • Ann Intensive Care . Comparison of clinical characteristics and hospital mortality in critically ill patients without COVID-19 before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multicenter, retrospective, propensity score-matched study


    Ann Intensive Care


    . 2022 Jun 22;12(1):57.
    doi: 10.1186/s13613-022-01028-2.
    Comparison of clinical characteristics and hospital mortality in critically ill patients without COVID-19 before and during the COVID-19 pandemic: a multicenter, retrospective, propensity score-matched study


    Sua Kim 1 , Hangseok Choi 2 , Jae Kyeom Sim 3 , Won Jai Jung 4 , Young Seok Lee 3 , Je Hyeong Kim 5



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    Background: The high transmission and fatality rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) strain intensive care resources and affect the treatment and prognosis of critically ill patients without COVID-19. Therefore, this study evaluated the differences in characteristics, clinical course, and prognosis of critically ill medical patients without COVID-19 before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Methods: This retrospective cohort study included patients from three university-affiliated tertiary hospitals. Demographic data and data on the severity, clinical course, and prognosis of medical patients without COVID-19 admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) via the emergency room (ER) before (from January 1 to May 31, 2019) and during (from January 1 to May 31, 2021) the COVID-19 pandemic were obtained from electronic medical records. Propensity score matching was performed to compare hospital mortality between patients before and during the pandemic.
    Results: This study enrolled 1161 patients (619 before and 542 during the pandemic). During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS) 3 and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores, assessed upon ER and ICU admission, were significantly higher than those before the pandemic (p < 0.05). The lengths of stay in the ER, ICU, and hospital were also longer (p < 0.05). Finally, the hospital mortality rates were higher during the pandemic than before (215 [39.7%] vs. 176 [28.4%], p < 0.001). However, in the propensity score-matched patients, hospital mortality did not differ between the groups (p = 0.138). The COVID-19 pandemic did not increase the risk of hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR] 1.405, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.937-2.107, p = 0.100). SAPS 3, SOFA score, and do-not-resuscitate orders increased the risk of in-hospital mortality in the multivariate logistic regression model.
    Conclusions: In propensity score-matched patients with similarly severe conditions, hospital mortality before and during the COVID-19 pandemic did not differ significantly. However, hospital mortality was higher during the COVID-19 pandemic in unmatched patients in more severe conditions. These findings imply collateral damage to non-COVID-19 patients due to shortages in medical resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, strategic management of medical resources is required to avoid these consequences.

    Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019; Critically ill patients; Mortality; Propensity score matching; Severity.

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