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1.
Med J Aust ; 2022 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884637

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare the demographic and clinical features, management, and outcomes for patients admitted with COVID-19 to intensive care units (ICUs) during the first, second, and third waves of the pandemic in Australia. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: People aged 16 years or more admitted with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 to the 78 Australian ICUs participating in the Short Period Incidence Study of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SPRINT-SARI) Australia project during the first (27 February - 30 June 2020), second (1 July 2020 - 25 June 2021), and third COVID-19 waves (26 June - 1 November 2021). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome: in-hospital mortality. SECONDARY OUTCOMES: ICU mortality; ICU and hospital lengths of stay; supportive and disease-specific therapies. RESULTS: 2493 people (1535 men, 62%) were admitted to 59 ICUs: 214 during the first (9%), 296 during the second (12%), and 1983 during the third wave (80%). The median age was 64 (IQR, 54-72) years during the first wave, 58 (IQR, 49-68) years during the second, and 54 (IQR, 41-65) years during the third. The proportion without co-existing illnesses was largest during the third wave (41%; first wave, 32%; second wave, 29%). The proportion of ICU beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 was 2.8% (95% CI, 2.7-2.9%) during the first, 4.6% (95% CI, 4.3-5.1%) during the second, and 19.1% (95% CI, 17.9-20.2%) during the third wave. Non-invasive (42% v 15%) and prone ventilation strategies (63% v 15%) were used more frequently during the third wave than during the first two waves. Thirty patients (14%) died in hospital during the first wave, 35 (12%) during the second, and 281 (17%) during the third. After adjusting for age, illness severity, and other covariates, the risk of in-hospital mortality was similar for the first and second waves, but 9.60 (95% CI, 3.52-16.7) percentage points higher during the third than the first wave. CONCLUSION: The demographic characteristics of patients in intensive care with COVID-19 and the treatments they received during the third pandemic wave differed from those of the first two waves. Adjusted in-hospital mortality was highest during the third wave.

2.
Aust Crit Care ; 2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866894

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Internationally, diabetes mellitus is recognised as a risk factor for severe COVID-19. The relationship between diabetes mellitus and severe COVID-19 has not been reported in the Australian population. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of and outcomes for patients with diabetes admitted to Australian intensive care units (ICUs) with COVID-19. METHODS: This is a nested cohort study of four ICUs in Melbourne participating in the Short Period Incidence Study of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SPRINT-SARI) Australia project. All adult patients admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 from 20 February 2020 to 27 February 2021 were included. Blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) data were retrospectively collected. Diabetes was diagnosed from medical history or an HbA1c ≥6.5% (48 mmol/mol). Hospital mortality was assessed using logistic regression. RESULTS: There were 136 patients with median age 58 years [48-68] and median Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score of 14 [11-19]. Fifty-eight patients had diabetes (43%), 46 patients had stress-induced hyperglycaemia (34%), and 32 patients had normoglycaemia (23%). Patients with diabetes were older, were with higher APACHE II scores, had greater glycaemic variability than patients with normoglycaemia, and had longer hospital length of stay. Overall hospital mortality was 16% (22/136), including nine patients with diabetes, nine patients with stress-induced hyperglycaemia, and two patients with normoglycaemia. CONCLUSION: Diabetes is prevalent in patients admitted to Australian ICUs with severe COVID-19, highlighting the need for prevention strategies in this vulnerable population.

3.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 1(4): 100054, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734706

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To determine the frequency of nosocomial infections including hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and bloodstream infection (BSI), amongst critically ill patients with COVID-19 infection in Australian ICUs and to evaluate associations with mortality and length of stay (LOS). Methods: The effect of nosocomial infections on hospital mortality was evaluated using hierarchical logistic regression models to adjust for illness severity and mechanical ventilation. Results: There were 490 patients admitted to 55 ICUs during the study period. Adjusted odds ratio (OR) for hospital mortality was 1.61 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-4.27, p = 0.3) when considering BSI, and 1.76 (95% CI 0.73-4.21, p = 0.2) for HAP. The average adjusted ICU LOS was significantly longer for patients with BSI (geometric mean 9.0 days vs 6.3 days, p = 0.04) and HAP (geometric mean 13.9 days vs 6.0 days p<0.001). Conclusion: Nosocomial infection rates amongst patients with COVID-19 were low and their development was associated with a significantly longer ICU LOS.

4.
ERJ Open Res ; 8(1)2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690978

ABSTRACT

Due to the large number of patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many were treated outside the traditional walls of the intensive care unit (ICU), and in many cases, by personnel who were not trained in critical care. The clinical characteristics and the relative impact of caring for severe COVID-19 patients outside the ICU is unknown. This was a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium World Health Organization COVID-19 platform. Severe COVID-19 patients were identified as those admitted to an ICU and/or those treated with one of the following treatments: invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, inotropes or vasopressors. A logistic generalised additive model was used to compare clinical outcomes among patients admitted or not to the ICU. A total of 40 440 patients from 43 countries and six continents were included in this analysis. Severe COVID-19 patients were frequently male (62.9%), older adults (median (interquartile range (IQR), 67 (55-78) years), and with at least one comorbidity (63.2%). The overall median (IQR) length of hospital stay was 10 (5-19) days and was longer in patients admitted to an ICU than in those who were cared for outside the ICU (12 (6-23) days versus 8 (4-15) days, p<0.0001). The 28-day fatality ratio was lower in ICU-admitted patients (30.7% (5797 out of 18 831) versus 39.0% (7532 out of 19 295), p<0.0001). Patients admitted to an ICU had a significantly lower probability of death than those who were not (adjusted OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.65-0.75; p<0.0001). Patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to an ICU had significantly lower 28-day fatality ratio than those cared for outside an ICU.

6.
ERJ open research ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1610380

ABSTRACT

Due to the large number of patients with severe COVID-19, many were treated outside of the traditional walls of the ICU, and in many cases, by personnel who were not trained in critical care. The clinical characteristics and the relative impact of caring for severe COVID-19 patients outside of the ICU is unknown. This was a multinational, multicentre, prospective cohort study embedded in the ISARIC WHO COVID-19 platform. Severe COVID-19 patients were identified as those admitted to an ICU and/or those treated with one of the following treatments: invasive or non-invasive mechanical ventilation, high-flow nasal cannula, inotropes, and vasopressors. A logistic Generalised Additive Model was used to compare clinical outcomes among patients admitted and not to the ICU. A total of 40 440 patients from 43 countries and six continents were included in this analysis. Severe COVID-19 patients were frequently male (62.9%), older adults (median [IQR], 67 years [55, 78]), and with at least one comorbidity (63.2%). The overall median (IQR) length of hospital stay was 10 days (5–19) and was longer in patients admitted to an ICU than in those that were cared for outside of ICU (12 [6–23] versus 8 [4–15] days, p<0.0001). The 28-day fatality ratio was lower in ICU-admitted patients (30.7% [5797/18831] versus 39.0% [7532/19295], p<0.0001). Patients admitted to an ICU had a significantly lower probability of death than those who were not (adjusted OR:0.70, 95%CI: 0.65-0.75, p<0.0001). Patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to an ICU had significantly lower 28-day fatality ratio than those cared for outside of an ICU.

7.
Crit Care Med ; 49(11): 1974-1982, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475880
8.
Aust Crit Care ; 35(1): 28-33, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225141

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers (HCWs) have frequently become infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 whilst treating patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A variety of novel devices have been proposed to reduce COVID-19 cross-contamination. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was (i) to test whether patients and HCWs thought that a novel patient isolation hood was safe and comfortable and (ii) to obtain COVID-19 infection data of hospital HCWs. METHODS: This is a prospective cohort study of 20 patients, entailing HCW/patient questionnaires and safety aspects of prototype isolation hoods. COVID-19 data of HCWs were prospectively collected. Assessment of the hood's safety and practicality and adverse event reporting was carried out. OUTCOME MEASURES: The outcome measures are as follows: questionnaire responses, adverse event reporting, rates of infections in HCWs during the study period (20/6/2020 to 21/7/2020), and COVID-19 infections in HCWs reported until the last recorded diagnosis of COVID-19 in HCWs (20/6/2020 to 27/9/2020). RESULTS: Of the 64 eligible individual HCW surveys, 60 surveys were overall favourable (>75% questions answered in favour of the isolation hood). HCWs were unanimous in perceiving the hood as safe (60/60), preferring its use (56/56), and understanding its potential COVID-19 cross-contamination minimisation (60/60). All eight patients who completed the questionnaire thought the isolation hood helped prevent COVID-19 cross infection and was safe and comfortable. There were no reported patient safety adverse events. The COVID-19 attack rate from 20/6/2020 to 27/9/2020 among registered nurses was as follows: intensive care units (ICUs), 2.2% (3/138); geriatric wards, 13.2% (26/197); and COVID-19 wards, 18.3% (32/175). The COVID-19 attack rate among medical staff was as follows: junior staff, 2.1% (24/932); senior staff, 0.7% (4/607); aged care/rehabilitation, 6.7% (2/30); and all ICU medical staff, 8.6% (3/35). CONCLUSIONS: The isolation hood was preferred to standard care by HCWs and well tolerated by patients, and after the study, isolation hoods became part of standard ICU therapy. There was an association between being an ICU nurse and a low COVID-19 infection rate (no causality implied). ICU HCWs feel safer when treating patients with COVID-19 using an isolation hood.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Isolation , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(4): 360-372, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045088

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mechanical ventilation in intensive care for 48 h or longer is associated with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which might be present at the time ventilatory support is instituted or develop afterwards, predominantly during the first 5 days. Survivors of prolonged mechanical ventilation and ARDS are at risk of considerably impaired physical function that can persist for years. An early pathogenic mechanism of lung injury in mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients is inflammation-induced pulmonary fibrin deposition, leading to thrombosis of the microvasculature and hyaline membrane formation in the air sacs. The main aim of this study was to determine if nebulised heparin, which targets fibrin deposition, would limit lung injury and thereby accelerate recovery of physical function in patients with or at risk of ARDS. METHODS: The Can Heparin Administration Reduce Lung Injury (CHARLI) study was an investigator-initiated, multicentre, double-blind, randomised phase 3 trial across nine hospitals in Australia. Adult intensive care patients on invasive ventilation, with impaired oxygenation defined by a PaO2/FiO2 ratio of less than 300, and with the expectation of invasive ventilation beyond the next calendar day were recruited. Key exclusion criteria were heparin allergy, pulmonary bleeding, and platelet count less than 50 X 109/L. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1, with stratification by site and using blocks of variable size and random seed, via a web-based system, to either unfractionated heparin sodium 25 000 IU in 5 mL or identical placebo (sodium chloride 0·9% 5 mL), administered using a vibrating mesh membrane nebuliser every 6 h to day 10 while invasively ventilated. Patients, clinicians, and investigators were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was the Short Form 36 Health Survey Physical Function Score (out of 100) of survivors at day 60. Prespecified secondary outcomes, which are exploratory, included development of ARDS to day 5 among at-risk patients, deterioration of the Murray Lung Injury Score (MLIS) to day 5, mortality at day 60, residence of survivors at day 60, and serious adverse events. Analyses followed the intention-to-treat principle. There was no imputation of missing data. The trial is registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register, number ACTRN12612000418875 . FINDINGS: Between Sept 4, 2012, and Aug 23, 2018, 256 patients were randomised. Final follow-up was on Feb 25, 2019. We excluded three patients who revoked consent and one ineligible participant who received no intervention. Of 252 patients included in data analysis, the mean age was 58 years (SD 15), 157 (62%) were men, and 118 (47%) had ARDS. 128 (51%) patients were assigned to the heparin group and 124 (49%) to the placebo group, all of whom received their assigned intervention. Survivors in the heparin group (n=97) had similar SF-36 Physical Function Scores at day 60 compared to the placebo group (n=94; mean 53·6 [SD 31·6] vs 48·7 [35·7]; difference 4·9 [95% CI -4·8 to 14·5]; p=0·32). Compared with the placebo group, the heparin group had fewer cases of ARDS develop to day 5 among the at-risk patients (nine [15%] of 62 patients vs 21 [30%] of 71 patients; hazard ratio 0·46 [95% CI 0·22 to 0·98]; p=0·0431), less deterioration of the MLIS to day 5 (difference -0·14 [-0·26 to -0·02]; p=0·0215), similar day 60 mortality (23 [18%] of 127 patients vs 18 [15%] of 123 patients; odds ratio [OR] 1·29 [95% CI 0·66 to 2·53]; p=0·46), and more day 60 survivors at home (86 [87%] of 99 patients vs 73 [73%] of 100 patients; OR 2·45 [1·18 to 5·08]; p=0·0165). A similar number of serious adverse events occurred in each group (seven [5%] of 128 patients in the heparin group vs three [2%] of 124 patients in the placebo group; OR 2·33 [0·59 to 9·24]; p=0·23), which were a transient increase in airway pressure during nebulisation (n=3 in the heparin group), major non-pulmonary bleeding (n=2 in each group), haemoptysis (n=1 in the heparin group), tracheotomy site bleeding (n=1 in the heparin group), and hypoxaemia during nebulisation (n=1 in the placebo group). INTERPRETATION: In patients with or at risk of ARDS, nebulised heparin did not improve self-reported performance of daily physical activities, but was well tolerated and exploratory outcomes suggest less progression of lung injury and earlier return home. Further research is justified to establish if nebulised heparin accelerates recovery in those who have or are at risk of ARDS. FUNDING: Rowe Family Foundation, TR and RB Ditchfield Medical Research Endowment Fund, Patricia Madigan Charitable Trust, and The J and R McGauran Trust Fund.


Subject(s)
Critical Care/methods , Heparin/administration & dosage , Respiration, Artificial/adverse effects , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Activities of Daily Living , Administration, Inhalation , Adult , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , Double-Blind Method , Female , Hemoptysis/chemically induced , Hemoptysis/epidemiology , Heparin/adverse effects , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hypoxia/chemically induced , Hypoxia/epidemiology , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Nebulizers and Vaporizers , Placebos/administration & dosage , Placebos/adverse effects , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/prevention & control , Self Report/statistics & numerical data , Severity of Illness Index , Survivors/statistics & numerical data , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome
10.
Med J Aust ; 214(1): 23-30, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067923

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) during the initial months of the pandemic in Australia. DESIGN, SETTING: Prospective, observational cohort study in 77 ICUs across Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Patients admitted to participating ICUs with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 during 27 February - 30 June 2020. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: ICU mortality and resource use (ICU length of stay, peak bed occupancy). RESULTS: The median age of the 204 patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care was 63.5 years (IQR, 53-72 years); 140 were men (69%). The most frequent comorbid conditions were obesity (40% of patients), diabetes (28%), hypertension treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (24%), and chronic cardiac disease (20%); 73 patients (36%) reported no comorbidity. The most frequent source of infection was overseas travel (114 patients, 56%). Median peak ICU bed occupancy was 14% (IQR, 9-16%). Invasive ventilation was provided for 119 patients (58%). Median length of ICU stay was greater for invasively ventilated patients than for non-ventilated patients (16 days; IQR, 9-28 days v 3 days; IQR, 2-5 days), as was ICU mortality (26 deaths, 22%; 95% CI, 15-31% v four deaths, 5%; 95% CI, 1-12%). Higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE-II) scores on ICU day 1 (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.15; 95% CI, 1.09-1.21) and chronic cardiac disease (aHR, 3.38; 95% CI, 1.46-7.83) were each associated with higher ICU mortality. CONCLUSION: Until the end of June 2020, mortality among patients with COVID-19 who required invasive ventilation in Australian ICUs was lower and their ICU stay longer than reported overseas. Our findings highlight the importance of ensuring adequate local ICU capacity, particularly as the pandemic has not yet ended.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , APACHE , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Respiration, Artificial , Survival Analysis
12.
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 18(8): 1380-1389, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-999862

ABSTRACT

Rationale: Both 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are transmitted by respiratory secretions and in severe cases result in a viral pneumonitis, requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission. However, no studies have compared the clinical characteristics and outcomes of such patients. Objectives: To report and compare the demographic characteristics, treatments, use of critical care resources, and outcomes of patients admitted to an Australian ICU with H1N1 influenza during the winter of 2009, and SARS-CoV-2 during the winter of 2020. Methods: This was a multicenter project, using national data from previous and ongoing epidemiological studies concerning severe acute respiratory infections in Australia. All ICUs admitting patients with H1N1 or coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were included and contributed data. We compared clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with H1N1 admitted to ICU in the winter of 2009 versus patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICU in the winter of 2020. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Potential years of life lost (PYLL) were calculated according to sex-adjusted life expectancy in Australia. Results: Across the two epochs, 861 patients were admitted to ICUs; 236 (27.4%) with COVID-19 and 625 (72.6%) with H1N1 influenza. The number of ICU admissions and bed-days occupied were higher with 2009 H1N1 influenza. Patients with COVID-19 were older, more often male and overweight, and had lower Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores at ICU admission. The highest age-specific incidence of ICU admission was among infants (0-1 yr of age) for H1N1, and among the elderly (≥65 yr) for COVID-19. Unadjusted in-hospital mortality was similar (11.5% in COVID-19 vs. 16.1% in H1N1; odds ratio, 0.68 [95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.42-1.06]; P = 0.10). The PYLL was greater with H1N1 influenza than with COVID-19 at 154.1 (95% CI, 148.7-159.4) versus 13.6 (95% CI, 12.2-15.1) PYLL per million inhabitants. Conclusions: In comparison with 2009 H1N1 influenza, COVID-19 admissions overwinter in Australia resulted in fewer ICU admissions, and lower bed-day occupancy. Crude in-hospital mortality was similar, but because of demographic differences in affected patients, deaths due to 2009 H1N1 influenza led to an 11-fold increase in the number of PYLL in critically ill patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , Critical Care , Critical Illness , Humans , Infant , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/therapy , Intensive Care Units , Male , SARS-CoV-2
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