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Mayo Clin Proc ; 98(3): 451-457, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2277982


There is scant information on the clinical progression, end-of-life decisions, and cause of death of patients with cancer diagnosed with COVID-19. Therefore, we conducted a case series of patients admitted to a comprehensive cancer center who did not survive their hospitalization. To determine the cause of death, 3 board-certified intensivists reviewed the electronic medical records. Concordance regarding cause of death was calculated. Discrepancies were resolved through a joint case-by-case review and discussion among the 3 reviewers. During the study period, 551 patients with cancer and COVID-19 were admitted to a dedicated specialty unit; among them, 61 (11.6%) were nonsurvivors. Among nonsurvivors, 31 (51%) patients had hematologic cancers, and 29 (48%) had undergone cancer-directed chemotherapy within 3 months before admission. The median time to death was 15 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.8 to 18.2). There were no differences in time to death by cancer category or cancer treatment intent. The majority of decedents (84%) had full code status at admission; however, 53 (87%) had do-not-resuscitate orders at the time of death. Most deaths were deemed to be COVID-19 related (88.5%). The concordance between the reviewers for the cause of death was 78.7%. In contrast to the belief that COVID-19 decedents die because of their comorbidities, in our study only 1 of every 10 patients died of cancer-related causes. Full-scale interventions were offered to all patients irrespective of oncologic treatment intent. However, most decedents in this population preferred care with nonresuscitative measures rather than full support at the end of life.

COVID-19 , Hematologic Neoplasms , Neoplasms , Humans , Cause of Death , Medical Oncology
Front Mol Biosci ; 7: 624093, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063338


Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe and often fatal disease. The causes that lead to ARDS are multiple and include inhalation of salt water, smoke particles, or as a result of damage caused by respiratory viruses. ARDS can also arise due to systemic complications such as blood transfusions, sepsis, or pancreatitis. Unfortunately, despite a high mortality rate of 40%, there are limited treatment options available for ARDS outside of last resort options such as mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal support strategies. Aim of review: A complication of ARDS is the development of pulmonary hypertension (PH); however, the mechanisms that lead to PH in ARDS are not fully understood. In this review, we summarize the known mechanisms that promote PH in ARDS. Key scientific concepts of review: (1) Provide an overview of acute respiratory distress syndrome; (2) delineate the mechanisms that contribute to the development of PH in ARDS; (3) address the implications of PH in the setting of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).