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1.
Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol ; 25(1): e135-e140, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1069135

ABSTRACT

Introduction Percutaneous tracheostomy (PT) in the intensive care unit (ICU) is a well-established practice that shows a reduced risk of wound infection compared with surgical tracheostomy, thus facilitating mechanical ventilation, nursing procedures, reduction in sedation and early mobilization. Objective This is an observational case-control study that compares the results of PT in ICU patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prospectively enrolled to a similar group of subjects, retrospectively recruited, without COVID-19. Methods Ninety-eight consecutive COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU at Pisa Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana between March 11th and May 20 th , 2020 were prospectively studied. Thirty of them underwent PT using different techniques. Another 30 non-COVID-19 ICU patients were used as a control-group. The main outcome was to evaluate the safety and feasibility of PT in COVID-19 patients. We measured the rate of complications. Results Percutaneous tracheostomy was performed with different techniques in 30 of the 98 COVID-19 ICU patients admitted to the ICU. Tracheostomy was performed on day 10 (mean 10 ± 3.3) from the time of intubation. Major tracheal complications occurred in 5 patients during the procedure. In the control group of 30 ICU patients, no differences were found with regards to the timing of the tracheostomy, whereas a statistically significant difference was observed regarding complications with only one tracheal ring rupture reported. Conclusion Percutaneous tracheostomy in COVID-19 patients showed a higher rate of complications compared with controls even though the same precautions and the same expertise were applied. Larger studies are needed to understand whether the coronavirus disease itself carries an increased risk of tracheal damage.

2.
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 147(1): 70-76, 2021 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-932399

ABSTRACT

Importance: Full-thickness tracheal lesions and tracheoesophageal fistulas are severe complications of invasive mechanical ventilation. The incidence of tracheal complications in ventilated patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unknown. Objective: To evaluate whether patients with COVID-19 have a higher incidence of full-thickness tracheal lesions and tracheoesophageal fistulas than matched controls and to investigate potential mechanisms. Design, Setting, and Participants: This is a retrospective cohort study in patients admitted to the intensive care unit in a tertiary referral hospital. Among 98 consecutive patients with COVID-19 with severe respiratory failure, 30 underwent prolonged (≥14 days) invasive mechanical ventilation and were included in the COVID-19 group. The control group included 45 patients without COVID-19. Patients with COVID-19 were selected from March 1 to May 31, 2020, while the control group was selected from March 1 to May 31, 2019. Exposures: Patients with COVID-19 had severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection diagnosed by nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs and were treated according to local therapeutic procedures. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary study outcome was the incidence of full-thickness tracheal lesions or tracheoesophageal fistulas in patients with prolonged invasive mechanical ventilation. Results: The mean (SD) age was 68.8 (9.0) years in the COVID-19 group and 68.5 (14.1) years in the control group (effect size, 0.3; 95% CI, -5.0 to 5.6). Eight (27%) and 15 (33%) women were enrolled in the COVID-19 group and the control group, respectively. Fourteen patients (47%) in the COVID-19 group had full-thickness tracheal lesions (n = 10, 33%) or tracheoesophageal fistulas (n = 4, 13%), while 1 patient (2.2%) in the control group had a full-thickness tracheal lesion (odds ratio, 38.4; 95% CI, 4.7 to 316.9). Clinical and radiological presentations of tracheal lesions were pneumomediastinum (n = 10, 71%), pneumothorax (n = 6, 43%), and/or subcutaneous emphysema (n = 13, 93%). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, almost half of patients with COVID-19 developed full-thickness tracheal lesions and/or tracheoesophageal fistulas after prolonged invasive mechanical ventilation. Attempts to prevent these lesions should be made and quickly recognized when they occur to avoid potentially life-threatening complications in ventilated patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/adverse effects , Tracheal Diseases/etiology , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Tracheal Diseases/epidemiology
3.
Int J Qual Health Care ; 33(1)2021 Feb 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-704209

ABSTRACT

QUALITY PROBLEM OR ISSUE: The on-going COVID-19 pandemic may cause the collapse of healthcare systems because of unprecedented hospitalization rates. INITIAL ASSESSMENT: A total of 8.2 individuals per 1000 inhabitants have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in our province. The hospital predisposed 110 beds for COVID-19 patients: on the day of the local peak, 90% of them were occupied and intensive care unit (ICU) faced unprecedented admission rates, fearing system collapse. CHOICE OF SOLUTION: Instead of increasing the number of ICU beds, the creation of a step-down unit (SDU) close to the ICU was preferred: the aim was to safely improve the transfer of patients and to relieve ICU from the risk of overload. IMPLEMENTATION: A nine-bed SDU was created next to the ICU, led by intensivists and ICU nurses, with adequate personal protective equipment, monitoring systems and ventilators for respiratory support when needed. A second six-bed SDU was also created. EVALUATION: Patients were clinically comparable to those of most reports from Western Countries now available in the literature. ICU never needed supernumerary beds, no patient died in the SDU, and there was no waiting time for ICU admission of critical patients. SDU has been affordable from human resources, safety and economic points of view. LESSONS LEARNED: COVID-19 is like an enduring mass casualty incident. Solutions tailored on local epidemiology and available resources should be implemented to preserve the efficiency and adaptability of our institutions and provide the adequate sanitary response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Critical Illness , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intermediate Care Facilities/organization & administration , Bed Occupancy/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
4.
World J Emerg Surg ; 15(1): 41, 2020 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-618185

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Iron metabolism and immune response to SARS-CoV-2 have not been described yet in intensive care patients, although they are likely involved in Covid-19 pathogenesis. METHODS: We performed an observational study during the peak of pandemic in our intensive care unit, dosing D-dimer, C-reactive protein, troponin T, lactate dehydrogenase, ferritin, serum iron, transferrin, transferrin saturation, transferrin soluble receptor, lymphocyte count and NK, CD3, CD4, CD8 and B subgroups of 31 patients during the first 2 weeks of their ICU stay. Correlation with mortality and severity at the time of admission was tested with the Spearman coefficient and Mann-Whitney test. Trends over time were tested with the Kruskal-Wallis analysis. RESULTS: Lymphopenia is severe and constant, with a nadir on day 2 of ICU stay (median 0.555 109/L; interquartile range (IQR) 0.450 109/L); all lymphocytic subgroups are dramatically reduced in critically ill patients, while CD4/CD8 ratio remains normal. Neither ferritin nor lymphocyte count follows significant trends in ICU patients. Transferrin saturation is extremely reduced at ICU admission (median 9%; IQR 7%), then significantly increases at days 3 to 6 (median 33%, IQR 26.5%, p value 0.026). The same trend is observed with serum iron levels (median 25.5 µg/L, IQR 69 µg/L at admission; median 73 µg/L, IQR 56 µg/L on days 3 to 6) without reaching statistical significance. Hyperferritinemia is constant during intensive care stay: however, its dosage might be helpful in individuating patients developing haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. D-dimer is elevated and progressively increases from admission (median 1319 µg/L; IQR 1285 µg/L) to days 3 to 6 (median 6820 µg/L; IQR 6619 µg/L), despite not reaching significant results. We describe trends of all the abovementioned parameters during ICU stay. CONCLUSIONS: The description of iron metabolism and lymphocyte count in Covid-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit provided with this paper might allow a wider understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathophysiology.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Critical Care , Iron/metabolism , Lymphocytes/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Aged , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Correlation of Data , Critical Care/methods , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Italy/epidemiology , Lymphocyte Count/methods , Lymphocyte Subsets , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Transferrin/analysis
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