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Health Sci Rep ; 5(3): e542, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1858806


Background and Aims: Clinical characteristics and factors associated with mortality in patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in countries with low case fatality rates (CFR) are unknown. We sought to determine these in a large cohort of critically ill COVID-19 patients in Qatar and explore the early mortality predictors. Methods: We retrospectively studied the clinical characteristics and outcomes in patients admitted to the ICU at the national referral hospital for COVID-19 patients in Qatar. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with mortality. Results: Between March 7 and July 16, 2020, a total of 1079 patients with COVID-19 were admitted to the ICU. The median (IQR) age of patients was 50 (41-59) years. Diabetes (47.3%) and hypertension (42.6%) were the most common comorbidities. In-hospital mortality was 12.6% overall and 25.9% among those requiring mechanical ventilation. Factors independently associated with mortality included older age ([OR]; 2.3 [95% CI; 1.92-2.75] for each 10-year increase in age, p < 0.001), chronic kidney disease (OR; 1.9 [95% CI; 1.02-3.54], p = 0.04), active malignancy (OR; 6.15 [95% CI; 1.79-21.12], p = 0.004), lower platelet count at ICU admission (OR; 1.41 [95% CI; 1.13-1.75] for each 100 × 103/µl decrease, p = 0.002), higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio at admission (OR; 1.01 [95% CI; 1-1.02] for each 1- point increase, p = 0.016), higher serum ferritin level at admission (OR; 1.05 [(95% CI; 1.02-1.08] for each 500 µg/L increase, p = 0.002), and higher serum bilirubin level at admission (OR; 1.19 [95% CI; 1.04-1.36] for each 10 µmol/L increase, p = 0.01). Conclusions: The mortality rate among critically ill COVID-19 patients is low in Qatar compared to other countries. Older age, chronic kidney disease, active malignancy, higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, lower platelet counts, higher serum ferritin levels, and higher serum bilirubin levels are independent predictors of in-hospital mortality.

Qatar Med J ; 2022(2): 26, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1811105


BACKGROUND: Prior to pulmonary function testing (PFT), local and international recommendations advise pre-procedural screening. Pulmonary function tests generate aerosol droplets containing millions of viruses, significantly increasing the risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission not only to the individuals in and around the PFT office, but also to subsequent patients who undergo the test later in the same room. METHODS: This clinical audit was carried out to establish the rate of positive pre-procedural SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing before a PFT. The data were obtained over a 6-week period from our ATS accredited pulmonary function laboratory at the Hamad General Hospital, Qatar (December 01, 2021, to January 10, 2022). The PFT laboratory was closed from January 10, 2022, till the date of this report (January 27, 2022) owing to an increase in COVID cases in the community in Qatar during the fourth wave. RESULTS: All the patients scheduled for PFT were asymptomatic of COVID-19. A total of 331 individuals were scheduled for PFT, and 221 PFTs were performed. There were 109 no-shows for both the PCR and the PFT. Between weeks 1 and 4, all the pre-procedural SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests were negative. The weekly average number of COVID-19 cases in Qatar increased from 157 per 100,000 population in week 1 to 2,918 in week 6.2 There was a similar trend in the pre-procedural SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests that increased and resulted in identifying 9 cases with positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test over weeks 5 and 6 (Figure 1). CONCLUSION: As the number of documented positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests in the community grew, so did the pre-procedural COVID-19 PCR positivity and the number of no-shows. The large number of no-shows may indicate greater worry or concern about contracting COVID-19 when visiting the hospital amid peak community cases. Our findings further call into question the utility of routinely performing pre-procedural PCR screening in asymptomatic cases when the prevalence of COVID-19 is low in the local population. Perhaps, it is time to consider replacing this with on-the-spot quick antigen testing for more effective use of resources.

Health Sci Rep ; 5(2): e525, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705401


INTRODUCTION: Mortality rates and clinical characteristics of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) vary significantly. OBJECTIVES: To describe the data of patients with pulmonary comorbidities who were admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 in Qatar in terms of demographic characteristics, coexisting conditions, imaging findings, and outcomes. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of the outcomes with regard to mortality and requirement of invasive ventilation, demographic characteristics, coexisting conditions, secondary infections, and imaging findings for critical care patients with COVID-19 in Qatar who had pulmonary comorbidities between March and June 2020. RESULTS: A total of 923 patients were included, 29 (3.14%) were found to have pulmonary disease. All these 29 patients' respiratory disease was noted to be asthma. Among these, three patients (10.3%) died in the ICU within 28 days of ICU admission. They were all above 50 years old. Nineteen (66%) patients required intubation and mechanical ventilation. Twenty-one (72.4%) patients were males. The most common comorbidities included diabetes mellitus (55.1%) and hypertension (62%). Eighteen (62%) patients developed secondary infections in the ICU. Five (17.24%) patients developed renal impairment. Twenty (69%) patients received tocilizumab as part of their COVID-19 management, and out of these 16 (80%) patients developed a coinfection. CONCLUSION: Patients with pulmonary disorders had higher mortality rates than other patients admitted to ICU during the same time frame with similar comorbidities; these patients require extra consideration and care to avoid disease progression and death.

Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(5): 1343-1352, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201633


We investigated what proportion of the population acquired severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and whether the herd immunity threshold has been reached in 10 communities in Qatar. The study included 4,970 participants during June 21-September 9, 2020. Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 were detected by using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Seropositivity ranged from 54.9% (95% CI 50.2%-59.4%) to 83.8% (95% CI 79.1%-87.7%) across communities and showed a pooled mean of 66.1% (95% CI 61.5%-70.6%). A range of other epidemiologic measures indicated that active infection is rare, with limited if any sustainable infection transmission for clusters to occur. Only 5 infections were ever severe and 1 was critical in these young communities; infection severity rate of 0.2% (95% CI 0.1%-0.4%). Specific communities in Qatar have or nearly reached herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2 infection: 65%-70% of the population has been infected.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Qatar/epidemiology