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1.
BMJ Qual Saf ; 30(12): 986-995, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of a pandemic on unplanned hospital attendance has not been extensively examined. The aim of this study is to report the nationwide consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on unplanned hospital attendances in Denmark for 7 weeks after a 'shelter at home' order was issued. METHODS: We merged data from national registries (Civil Registration System and Patient Registry) to conduct a study of unplanned (excluding outpatient visits and elective surgery) hospital-based healthcare and mortality of all Danes. Using data for 7 weeks after the 'shelter at home' order, the incidence rate of unplanned hospital attendances per week in 2020 was compared with corresponding weeks in 2017-2019. The main outcome was hospital attendances per week as incidence rate ratios. Secondary outcomes were general population mortality and risk of death in-hospital, reported as weekly mortality rate ratios (MRRs). RESULTS: From 2 438 286 attendances in the study period, overall unplanned attendances decreased by up to 21%; attendances excluding COVID-19 were reduced by 31%; non-psychiatric by 31% and psychiatric by 30%. Out of the five most common diagnoses expected to remain stable, only schizophrenia and myocardial infarction remained stable, while chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, hip fracture and urinary tract infection fell significantly. The nationwide general population MRR rose in six of the recorded weeks, while MRR excluding patients who were COVID-19 positive only increased in two. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic and a governmental national 'shelter at home' order was associated with a marked reduction in unplanned hospital attendances with an increase in MRR for the general population in two of 7 weeks, despite exclusion of patients with COVID-19. The findings should be taken into consideration when planning for public information campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Biomark Insights ; 16: 11772719211034685, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365299

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Elevated soluble urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor (suPAR) is a biomarker associated with adverse outcomes. We aimed to investigate the associations between plasma suPAR levels (testing the cut-offs ⩽4, 4-6, and ⩾6 ng/mL) with risk of 14-day mortality, and with the risk of mechanical ventilation in patients that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Observational cohort study of patients presenting with symptoms of COVID-19 at Department of Emergency Medicine, Amager and Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark from March 19th, 2020 to April 3rd, 2020. Plasma suPAR was measured using suPARnostic technologies. Patients were followed for development of mechanical ventilation and mortality for 14 days. Validation of our findings were carried out in a similar sized COVID-19 patient cohort from Mikkeli Central Hospital, Finland. RESULTS: Among 386 patients with symptoms of COVID-19, the median (interquartile range) age was 64 years (46-77), 57% were women, median suPAR was 4.0 ng/mL (2.7-5.9). In total, 35 patients (9.1%) died during the 14 days follow-up. Patients with suPAR ⩽4 ng/mL (N = 196; 50.8%) had a low risk of mortality (N = 2; 1.0%; negative predictive value of 99.0%, specificity 55.3%, sensitivity 95.2%, positive predictive value 17.4%). Among patients with suPAR ⩾6 ng/mL (N = 92; 23.8%), 16 died (17.4%). About 99 patients (25.6%) tested positive for SARS CoV-2 and of those 12 (12.1%) developed need for mechanical ventilation. None of the SARS-CoV-2 positive patients with suPAR ⩽4 ng/mL (N = 28; 38.8%) needed mechanical ventilation or died. The Mikkeli Central Hospital validation cohort confirmed our findings concerning suPAR cut-offs for risk of development of mechanical ventilation and mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 and suPAR ⩽4 or ⩾6 ng/mL had low or high risk, respectively, concerning the need for mechanical ventilation or mortality. We suggest cut-offs for identification of risk groups in patients presenting to the ED with symptoms of or confirmed COVID-19.

3.
BMJ Qual Saf ; 30(12): 986-995, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218236

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of a pandemic on unplanned hospital attendance has not been extensively examined. The aim of this study is to report the nationwide consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on unplanned hospital attendances in Denmark for 7 weeks after a 'shelter at home' order was issued. METHODS: We merged data from national registries (Civil Registration System and Patient Registry) to conduct a study of unplanned (excluding outpatient visits and elective surgery) hospital-based healthcare and mortality of all Danes. Using data for 7 weeks after the 'shelter at home' order, the incidence rate of unplanned hospital attendances per week in 2020 was compared with corresponding weeks in 2017-2019. The main outcome was hospital attendances per week as incidence rate ratios. Secondary outcomes were general population mortality and risk of death in-hospital, reported as weekly mortality rate ratios (MRRs). RESULTS: From 2 438 286 attendances in the study period, overall unplanned attendances decreased by up to 21%; attendances excluding COVID-19 were reduced by 31%; non-psychiatric by 31% and psychiatric by 30%. Out of the five most common diagnoses expected to remain stable, only schizophrenia and myocardial infarction remained stable, while chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation, hip fracture and urinary tract infection fell significantly. The nationwide general population MRR rose in six of the recorded weeks, while MRR excluding patients who were COVID-19 positive only increased in two. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic and a governmental national 'shelter at home' order was associated with a marked reduction in unplanned hospital attendances with an increase in MRR for the general population in two of 7 weeks, despite exclusion of patients with COVID-19. The findings should be taken into consideration when planning for public information campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Emerg Med ; 61(3): 298-313, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157477

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (The Covid-19 pandemic) strains health care capacity. Better risk stratification, with discharge of patients with a predicted mild disease trajectory, can ease this burden. Elevated blood-soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) has previously been shown to be associated with risk of intubation in confirmed COVID-19 patients. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether point-of-care measures of suPAR in patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with symptoms of COVID-19 can identify patients that can be safely discharged. METHODS: Observational cohort study including all patients in the ED with symptoms of COVID-19 from March 19 to April 3, 2020. SuPAR was measured at first presentation. Review of electronic patient records 14 days after admission was used to assess disease trajectory. Primary endpoints were mild, moderate, severe, or very severe trajectory. The predictive value of suPAR, National Early Warning Score (NEWS), C-reactive protein (CRP), and duration of symptoms was calculated using receiver operating characteristics (ROC). RESULTS: Of 386 patients, 171 (44%) had a mild disease trajectory, 79 (20%) a moderate, 63 (16%) a severe, and 73 (19%) a very severe disease trajectory. Low suPAR was a strong marker of mild disease trajectory. Results suggest a cut-off for discharge for suPAR < 2.0 ng/mL if suPAR is used as a single parameter, and <3.0 ng/mL when combined with NEWS ≤ 4 and CRP < 10 mg/L. CONCLUSION: suPAR is a potential biomarker for triage and safe early discharge of patients with COVID-19 symptoms in the ED. suPAR can be used even before SARS-CoV-2 status is known.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Receptors, Urokinase Plasminogen Activator , Biomarkers , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2
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