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Sci Prog . Secondary infections in critically ill patients with COVID-19 receiving steroid therapy

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  • Sci Prog . Secondary infections in critically ill patients with COVID-19 receiving steroid therapy

    Sci Prog


    . 2023 Oct-Dec;106(4):368504231207209.
    doi: 10.1177/00368504231207209. Secondary infections in critically ill patients with COVID-19 receiving steroid therapy

    Alex K Pearce 1 , Qais Zawaydeh 2 , W Cameron McGuire 1 , Abdurrahman Husain 3 , Claudia Ayoub 4 , Daniel A Sweeney 1 , Shannon A Cotton 1 , Atul Malhotra 1



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Secondary infections can occur during or after the treatment of an initial infection. Glucocorticoids may decrease mortality in patients with severe COVID-19; however, risk of secondary infection is not well described. Our primary objective was to investigate the risk of secondary infection among critically ill patients with COVID-19 treated with glucocorticoids. We examined patients with COVID-19 being treated in the intensive care unit at two academic medical centers from 1 to 7/2020. One hundred-seven patients were included. Of these, 31 received steroids and 76 patients did not. Analysis of the larger cohort was performed followed by a matched pairs analysis of 22 steroid and 22 non-steroid patients. Secondary infection was seen in 14 patients (45.2%) receiving steroids compared to 35(46.1%) not receiving steroids (p = 0.968). Secondary infections were most frequently encountered in the respiratory tract. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were the most frequently identified organisms. Mortality was 16.1% in the steroid-treated group compared to 23.7% in the control group (p = 0.388). After performing matched pairs analysis and multivariable logistic regression there was no significant difference between secondary infection or mortality and steroid receipt. Secondary infections were common among critically ill patients with COVID-19, but the incidence of secondary infection was not significantly impacted by steroid treatment.

    Keywords: Intensive care unit; coronavirus disease 2019; critical care outcomes; secondary infection; steroids.

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