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Crit Care Med ; 50(6): e526-e538, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621691


OBJECTIVES: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a potentially lifesaving procedure in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to COVID-19. Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of clinically silent cerebral microbleeds in patients with COVID-19. Based on this fact, together with the hemotrauma and the requirement of therapeutic anticoagulation on ECMO support, we hypothesized an increased risk of intracranial hemorrhages (ICHs). We analyzed ICH occurrence rate, circumstances and clinical outcome in patients that received ECMO support due to COVID-19-induced ARDS in comparison to viral non-COVID-19-induced ARDS intracerebral hemorrhage. DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective analysis between January 2010 and May 2021. SETTING: Three tertiary care ECMO centers in Germany and Switzerland. PATIENTS: Two-hundred ten ARDS patients on ECMO support (COVID-19, n = 142 vs viral non-COVID, n = 68). INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Evaluation of ICH occurrence rate, parameters of coagulation and anticoagulation strategies, inflammation, and ICU survival. COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 ARDS patients showed comparable disease severity regarding Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, while the oxygenation index before ECMO cannulation was higher in the COVID group (82 vs 65 mm Hg). Overall, ICH of any severity occurred in 29 of 142 COVID-19 patients (20%) versus four of 68 patients in the control ECMO group (6%). Fifteen of those 29 ICH events in the COVID-19 group were classified as major (52%) including nine fatal cases (9/29, 31%). In the control group, there was only one major ICH event (1/4, 25%). The adjusted subhazard ratio for the occurrence of an ICH in the COVID-19 group was 5.82 (97.5% CI, 1.9-17.8; p = 0.002). The overall ICU mortality in the presence of ICH of any severity was 88%. CONCLUSIONS: This retrospective multicenter analysis showed a six-fold increased adjusted risk for ICH and a 3.5-fold increased incidence of ICH in COVID-19 patients on ECMO. Prospective studies are needed to confirm this observation and to determine whether the bleeding risk can be reduced by adjusting anticoagulation strategies.

COVID-19 , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/therapy , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/adverse effects , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/methods , Humans , Intracranial Hemorrhages/drug therapy , Intracranial Hemorrhages/epidemiology , Intracranial Hemorrhages/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Retrospective Studies
BMC Anesthesiol ; 22(1): 12, 2022 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608359


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on health care systems worldwide, which has led to increased mortality of different diseases like myocardial infarction. This is most likely due to three factors. First, an increased workload per nurse ratio, a factor associated with mortality. Second, patients presenting with COVID-19-like symptoms are isolated, which also decreases survival in cases of emergency. And third, patients hesitate to see a doctor or present themselves at a hospital. To assess if this is also true for sepsis patients, we asked whether non-COVID-19 sepsis patients had an increased 30-day mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: This is a post hoc analysis of the SepsisDataNet.NRW study, a multicentric, prospective study that includes septic patients fulfilling the SEPSIS-3 criteria. Within this study, we compared the 30-day mortality and disease severity of patients recruited pre-pandemic (recruited from March 2018 until February 2020) with non-COVID-19 septic patients recruited during the pandemic (recruited from March 2020 till December 2020). RESULTS: Comparing septic patients recruited before the pandemic to those recruited during the pandemic, we found an increased raw 30-day mortality in sepsis-patients recruited during the pandemic (33% vs. 52%, p = 0.004). We also found a significant difference in the severity of disease at recruitment (SOFA score pre-pandemic: 8 (5 - 11) vs. pandemic: 10 (8 - 13); p < 0.001). When adjusted for this, the 30-day mortality rates were not significantly different between the two groups (52% vs. 52% pre-pandemic and pandemic, p = 0.798). CONCLUSIONS: This led us to believe that the higher mortality of non-COVID19 sepsis patients during the pandemic might be attributed to a more severe septic disease at the time of recruitment. We note that patients may experience a delayed admission, as indicated by elevated SOFA scores. This could explain the higher mortality during the pandemic and we found no evidence for a diminished quality of care for critically ill sepsis patients in German intensive care units.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , Sepsis/mortality , Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Analysis