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1.
Swiss Med Wkly ; 152: w30183, 2022 06 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911926

ABSTRACT

STUDY AIM: The surge of admissions due to severe COVID-19 increased the patients-to-critical care staffing ratio within the ICUs. We investigated whether the daily level of staffing was associated with an increased risk of ICU mortality (primary endpoint), length of stay (LOS), mechanical ventilation and the evolution of disease (secondary endpoints). METHODS: We employed a retrospective multicentre analysis of the international Risk Stratification in COVID-19 patients in the ICU (RISC-19-ICU) registry, limited to the period between March 1 and May 31, 2020, and to Switzerland. Hierarchical regression models were used to investigate crude and adjusted effects of the critical care staffing ratio on study endpoints. We adjusted for disease severity and weekly caseload. RESULTS: Among the 38 participating Swiss ICUs, 17 recorded staffing information. The study population included 437 patients and 2,342 daily assessments of patient-to-critical care staffing ratio. Median of daily patient-to-nurse ratio started at 1.0 [IQR 0.5-1.5; calendar week 9] and peaked at 2.4 (IQR 0.4-2.0; calendar week 16), while the median of daily patient-to-physician ratio started at 4.0 (IQR 2.1-5.0; calendar week 9) and peaked at 6.8 (IQR 6.3-7.3; calendar week 19). Neither the patient-to-nurse (adjusted OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.85-1.93; doubling of ratio) nor the patient-to-physician ratio (adjusted OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.87-1.32; doubling of ratio) were associated with ICU mortality. We found no association of daily critical care staffing on the secondary endpoints in adjusted models. CONCLUSION: We found no association of reduced availability of critical care staffing resources in Swiss ICUs with overall ICU length of stay nor mortality. Whether long-term outcome of critically ill patients with COVID-19 have been affected remains to be studied.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Critical Care , Critical Illness/therapy , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Retrospective Studies , Switzerland/epidemiology , Workforce
2.
Intensive Care Med ; 48(5): 580-589, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797659

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We assessed long-term outcomes of dexamethasone 12 mg versus 6 mg given daily for up to 10 days in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe hypoxaemia. METHODS: We assessed 180-day mortality and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using EuroQoL (EQ)-5D-5L index values and EQ visual analogue scale (VAS) in the international, stratified, blinded COVID STEROID 2 trial, which randomised 1000 adults with confirmed COVID-19 receiving at least 10 L/min of oxygen or mechanical ventilation in 26 hospitals in Europe and India. In the HRQoL analyses, higher values indicated better outcomes, and deceased patients were given a score of zero. RESULTS: We obtained vital status at 180 days for 963 of 982 patients (98.1%) in the intention-to-treat population, EQ-5D-5L index value data for 922 (93.9%) and EQ VAS data for 924 (94.1%). At 180 days, 164 of 486 patients (33.7%) had died in the 12 mg group versus 184 of 477 (38.6%) in the 6 mg group [adjusted risk difference - 4.3%; 99% confidence interval (CI) - 11.7-3.0; relative risk 0.89; 0.72-1.09; P = 0.13]. The adjusted mean differences between the 12 mg and the 6 mg groups in EQ-5D-5L index values were 0.06 (99% CI - 0.01 to 0.12; P = 0.10) and in EQ VAS scores 4 (- 3 to 10; P = 0.22). CONCLUSION: Among patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxaemia, dexamethasone 12 mg compared with 6 mg did not result in statistically significant improvements in mortality or HRQoL at 180 days, but the results were most compatible with benefit from the higher dose.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dexamethasone , Hypoxia , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Hypoxia/complications , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Patient Acuity , Quality of Life , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome
3.
J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle ; 13(3): 1883-1895, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1772719

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly increased the incidence and clinical importance of critical illness myopathy (CIM), because it is one of the most common complications of modern intensive care medicine. Current diagnostic criteria only allow diagnosis of CIM at an advanced stage, so that patients are at risk of being overlooked, especially in early stages. To determine the frequency of CIM and to assess a recently proposed tool for early diagnosis, we have followed a cohort of COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome and compared the time course of muscle excitability measurements with the definite diagnosis of CIM. METHODS: Adult COVID-19 patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the University Hospital Bern, Switzerland requiring mechanical ventilation were recruited and examined on Days 1, 2, 5, and 10 post-intubation. Clinical examination, muscle excitability measurements, medication record, and laboratory analyses were performed on all study visits, and additionally nerve conduction studies, electromyography and muscle biopsy on Day 10. Muscle excitability data were compared with a cohort of 31 age-matched healthy subjects. Diagnosis of definite CIM was made according to the current guidelines and was based on patient history, results of clinical and electrophysiological examinations as well as muscle biopsy. RESULTS: Complete data were available in 31 out of 44 recruited patients (mean [SD] age, 62.4 [9.8] years). Of these, 17 (55%) developed CIM. Muscle excitability measurements on Day 10 discriminated between patients who developed CIM and those who did not, with a diagnostic precision of 90% (AUC 0.908; 95% CI 0.799-1.000; sensitivity 1.000; specificity 0.714). On Days 1 and 2, muscle excitability parameters also discriminated between the two groups with 73% (AUC 0.734; 95% CI 0.550-0.919; sensitivity 0.562; specificity 0.857) and 82% (AUC 0.820; CI 0.652-0.903; sensitivity 0.750; specificity 0.923) diagnostic precision, respectively. All critically ill COVID-19 patients showed signs of muscle membrane depolarization compared with healthy subjects, but in patients who developed CIM muscle membrane depolarization on Days 1, 2 and 10 was more pronounced than in patients who did not develop CIM. CONCLUSIONS: This study reports a 55% prevalence of definite CIM in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, the results confirm that muscle excitability measurements may serve as an alternative method for CIM diagnosis and support its use as a tool for early diagnosis and monitoring the development of CIM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Muscular Diseases , Polyneuropathies , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Early Diagnosis , Humans , Middle Aged , Muscular Diseases/diagnosis , Muscular Diseases/epidemiology , Muscular Diseases/etiology , Pandemics , Polyneuropathies/diagnosis , Polyneuropathies/epidemiology , Polyneuropathies/etiology
4.
Intensive Care Med ; 48(1): 45-55, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605102

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We compared dexamethasone 12 versus 6 mg daily for up to 10 days in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe hypoxaemia in the international, randomised, blinded COVID STEROID 2 trial. In the primary, conventional analyses, the predefined statistical significance thresholds were not reached. We conducted a pre-planned Bayesian analysis to facilitate probabilistic interpretation. METHODS: We analysed outcome data within 90 days in the intention-to-treat population (data available in 967 to 982 patients) using Bayesian models with various sensitivity analyses. Results are presented as median posterior probabilities with 95% credible intervals (CrIs) and probabilities of different effect sizes with 12 mg dexamethasone. RESULTS: The adjusted mean difference on days alive without life support at day 28 (primary outcome) was 1.3 days (95% CrI -0.3 to 2.9; 94.2% probability of benefit). Adjusted relative risks and probabilities of benefit on serious adverse reactions was 0.85 (0.63 to 1.16; 84.1%) and on mortality 0.87 (0.73 to 1.03; 94.8%) at day 28 and 0.88 (0.75 to 1.02; 95.1%) at day 90. Probabilities of benefit on days alive without life support and days alive out of hospital at day 90 were 85 and 95.7%, respectively. Results were largely consistent across sensitivity analyses, with relatively low probabilities of clinically important harm with 12 mg on all outcomes in all analyses. CONCLUSION: We found high probabilities of benefit and low probabilities of clinically important harm with dexamethasone 12 mg versus 6 mg daily in patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxaemia on all outcomes up to 90 days.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone , Humans , Hypoxia , SARS-CoV-2 , Steroids
5.
JAMA ; 326(18): 1807-1817, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527380

ABSTRACT

Importance: A daily dose with 6 mg of dexamethasone is recommended for up to 10 days in patients with severe and critical COVID-19, but a higher dose may benefit those with more severe disease. Objective: To assess the effects of 12 mg/d vs 6 mg/d of dexamethasone in patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia. Design, Setting, and Participants: A multicenter, randomized clinical trial was conducted between August 2020 and May 2021 at 26 hospitals in Europe and India and included 1000 adults with confirmed COVID-19 requiring at least 10 L/min of oxygen or mechanical ventilation. End of 90-day follow-up was on August 19, 2021. Interventions: Patients were randomized 1:1 to 12 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 503) or 6 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 497) for up to 10 days. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the number of days alive without life support (invasive mechanical ventilation, circulatory support, or kidney replacement therapy) at 28 days and was adjusted for stratification variables. Of the 8 prespecified secondary outcomes, 5 are included in this analysis (the number of days alive without life support at 90 days, the number of days alive out of the hospital at 90 days, mortality at 28 days and at 90 days, and ≥1 serious adverse reactions at 28 days). Results: Of the 1000 randomized patients, 982 were included (median age, 65 [IQR, 55-73] years; 305 [31%] women) and primary outcome data were available for 971 (491 in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 480 in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group). The median number of days alive without life support was 22.0 days (IQR, 6.0-28.0 days) in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 20.5 days (IQR, 4.0-28.0 days) in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted mean difference, 1.3 days [95% CI, 0-2.6 days]; P = .07). Mortality at 28 days was 27.1% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 32.3% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.86 [99% CI, 0.68-1.08]). Mortality at 90 days was 32.0% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 37.7% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.87 [99% CI, 0.70-1.07]). Serious adverse reactions, including septic shock and invasive fungal infections, occurred in 11.3% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 13.4% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.83 [99% CI, 0.54-1.29]). Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia, 12 mg/d of dexamethasone compared with 6 mg/d of dexamethasone did not result in statistically significantly more days alive without life support at 28 days. However, the trial may have been underpowered to identify a significant difference. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04509973 and ctri.nic.in Identifier: CTRI/2020/10/028731.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Life Support Care , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Glucocorticoids/adverse effects , Humans , Hypoxia/etiology , Hypoxia/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Mycoses/etiology , Respiration, Artificial , Shock, Septic/etiology , Single-Blind Method
6.
JAMA ; 326(18): 1807-1817, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482066

ABSTRACT

Importance: A daily dose with 6 mg of dexamethasone is recommended for up to 10 days in patients with severe and critical COVID-19, but a higher dose may benefit those with more severe disease. Objective: To assess the effects of 12 mg/d vs 6 mg/d of dexamethasone in patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia. Design, Setting, and Participants: A multicenter, randomized clinical trial was conducted between August 2020 and May 2021 at 26 hospitals in Europe and India and included 1000 adults with confirmed COVID-19 requiring at least 10 L/min of oxygen or mechanical ventilation. End of 90-day follow-up was on August 19, 2021. Interventions: Patients were randomized 1:1 to 12 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 503) or 6 mg/d of intravenous dexamethasone (n = 497) for up to 10 days. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was the number of days alive without life support (invasive mechanical ventilation, circulatory support, or kidney replacement therapy) at 28 days and was adjusted for stratification variables. Of the 8 prespecified secondary outcomes, 5 are included in this analysis (the number of days alive without life support at 90 days, the number of days alive out of the hospital at 90 days, mortality at 28 days and at 90 days, and ≥1 serious adverse reactions at 28 days). Results: Of the 1000 randomized patients, 982 were included (median age, 65 [IQR, 55-73] years; 305 [31%] women) and primary outcome data were available for 971 (491 in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 480 in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group). The median number of days alive without life support was 22.0 days (IQR, 6.0-28.0 days) in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group and 20.5 days (IQR, 4.0-28.0 days) in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted mean difference, 1.3 days [95% CI, 0-2.6 days]; P = .07). Mortality at 28 days was 27.1% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 32.3% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.86 [99% CI, 0.68-1.08]). Mortality at 90 days was 32.0% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 37.7% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.87 [99% CI, 0.70-1.07]). Serious adverse reactions, including septic shock and invasive fungal infections, occurred in 11.3% in the 12 mg of dexamethasone group vs 13.4% in the 6 mg of dexamethasone group (adjusted relative risk, 0.83 [99% CI, 0.54-1.29]). Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxemia, 12 mg/d of dexamethasone compared with 6 mg/d of dexamethasone did not result in statistically significantly more days alive without life support at 28 days. However, the trial may have been underpowered to identify a significant difference. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04509973 and ctri.nic.in Identifier: CTRI/2020/10/028731.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Glucocorticoids/administration & dosage , Life Support Care , Aged , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Female , Glucocorticoids/adverse effects , Humans , Hypoxia/etiology , Hypoxia/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Mycoses/etiology , Respiration, Artificial , Shock, Septic/etiology , Single-Blind Method
7.
Praxis (Bern 1994) ; 110(9): 512-516, 2021 Jul.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298807

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Unit: Medical, Nursing, and Physical Therapy Challenges Abstract. The treatment of patients with COVID-19 is a big challenge for intensive care units: substantial additional staff and material is needed to treat the surge of patients admitted in short time. Treatment is difficult as many patients present with multiple organ failure, including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Mostly, oxygenation is substantially impaired and compliance low, and many patients need prone positioning. This article deals with the difficulties during the first surge of patients with COVID-19. The suffering of the relatives who were not allowed to visit must also be considered.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Physical Therapy Modalities , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 65(10): 1421-1430, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273068

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the early phase of the pandemic, some guidelines recommended the use of corticosteroids for critically ill patients with COVID-19, whereas others recommended against the use despite lack of firm evidence of either benefit or harm. In the COVID STEROID trial, we aimed to assess the effects of low-dose hydrocortisone on patient-centred outcomes in adults with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia. METHODS: In this multicentre, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, blinded, centrally randomised, stratified clinical trial, we randomly assigned adults with confirmed COVID-19 and severe hypoxia (use of mechanical ventilation or supplementary oxygen with a flow of at least 10 L/min) to either hydrocortisone (200 mg/d) vs a matching placebo for 7 days or until hospital discharge. The primary outcome was the number of days alive without life support at day 28 after randomisation. RESULTS: The trial was terminated early when 30 out of 1000 participants had been enrolled because of external evidence indicating benefit from corticosteroids in severe COVID-19. At day 28, the median number of days alive without life support in the hydrocortisone vs placebo group were 7 vs 10 (adjusted mean difference: -1.1 days, 95% CI -9.5 to 7.3, P = .79); mortality was 6/16 vs 2/14; and the number of serious adverse reactions 1/16 vs 0/14. CONCLUSIONS: In this trial of adults with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia, we were unable to provide precise estimates of the benefits and harms of hydrocortisone as compared with placebo as only 3% of the planned sample size were enrolled. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04348305. European Union Drug Regulation Authorities Clinical Trials (EudraCT) Database: 2020-001395-15.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hydrocortisone , Adult , Humans , Hypoxia , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
9.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 11(5)2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234679

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has shown the importance of postmortem investigation of deceased patients. For a correct interpretation of the pulmonary findings in this new era, it is, however, crucial to be familiar with pathologic pulmonary conditions observed in postmortem investigations in general. Adequate postmortem histopathological evaluation of the lungs may be affected by suboptimal gross work up, autolysis or poor fixation. Using a standardized preparation approach which consisted in instillation of 4% buffered formaldehyde through the large bronchi for proper fixation and preparing large frontal tissue sections of 1-2 cm thickness after at least 24 h fixation, we comprehensively analyzed postmortem pulmonary findings from consecutive adult autopsies of a two-year period before the occurrence of COVID-19 (2016-2017). In total, significant pathological findings were observed in 97/189 patients (51%), with 28 patients showing more than one pathologic condition. Acute pneumonia was diagnosed 33/128 times (26%), embolism 24 times (19%), primary pulmonary neoplasms 18 times (14%), organizing pneumonia and other fibrosing conditions 14 times (11%), pulmonary metastases 13 times (10%), diffuse alveolar damage 12 times (9%), severe emphysema 9 times (7%) and other pathologies, e.g., amyloidosis 5/128 times (4%). Pulmonary/cardiopulmonary disease was the cause of death in 60 patients (32%). Clinical and pathological diagnoses regarding lung findings correlated completely in 75 patients (40%). Autopsy led to confirmation of a clinically suspected pulmonary diagnosis in 57 patients (39%) and clarification of an unclear clinical lung finding in 16 patients (8%). Major discrepant findings regarding the lungs (N = 31; 16%) comprised cases with clinical suspicions that could not be confirmed or new findings not diagnosed intra vitam. A significant proportion of acute pneumonias (N = 8; 24% of all cases with this diagnosis; p = 0.011) was not diagnosed clinically. We confirmed the frequent occurrence of pulmonary pathologies in autopsies, including inflammatory and neoplastic lesions as the most frequent pathological findings. Acute pneumonia was an important cause for discrepancy between clinical and postmortem diagnostics.

10.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 65(6): 834-845, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1083073

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in millions of deaths and overburdened healthcare systems worldwide. Systemic low-dose corticosteroids have proven clinical benefit in patients with severe COVID-19. Higher doses of corticosteroids are used in other inflammatory lung diseases and may offer additional clinical benefits in COVID-19. At present, the balance between benefits and harms of higher vs. lower doses of corticosteroids for patients with COVID-19 is unclear. METHODS: The COVID STEROID 2 trial is an investigator-initiated, international, parallel-grouped, blinded, centrally randomised and stratified clinical trial assessing higher (12 mg) vs. lower (6 mg) doses of dexamethasone for adults with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia. We plan to enrol 1,000 patients in Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and India. The primary outcome is days alive without life support (invasive mechanical ventilation, circulatory support or renal replacement therapy) at day 28. Secondary outcomes include serious adverse reactions at day 28; all-cause mortality at day 28, 90 and 180; days alive without life support at day 90; days alive and out of hospital at day 90; and health-related quality of life at day 180. The primary outcome will be analysed using the Kryger Jensen and Lange test adjusted for stratification variables and reported as adjusted mean differences and median differences. The full statistical analysis plan is outlined in this protocol. DISCUSSION: The COVID STEROID 2 trial will provide evidence on the optimal dosing of systemic corticosteroids for COVID-19 patients with severe hypoxia with important implications for patients, their relatives and society.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/complications , Denmark , Dexamethasone/adverse effects , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Double-Blind Method , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hydrocortisone/therapeutic use , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Hypoxia/etiology , India , Life Support Care/statistics & numerical data , Practice Patterns, Physicians'/statistics & numerical data , Quality of Life , Survival Analysis , Sweden , Switzerland
11.
Acta Anaesthesiol Scand ; 65(5): 702-710, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1081822

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to severe hypoxic respiratory failure and death. Corticosteroids decrease mortality in severely or critically ill patients with COVID-19. However, the optimal dose remains unresolved. The ongoing randomised COVID STEROID 2 trial investigates the effects of higher vs lower doses of dexamethasone (12 vs 6 mg intravenously daily for up to 10 days) in 1,000 adult patients with COVID-19 and severe hypoxia. METHODS: This protocol outlines the rationale and statistical methods for a secondary, pre-planned Bayesian analysis of the primary outcome (days alive without life support at day 28) and all secondary outcomes registered up to day 90. We will use hurdle-negative binomial models to estimate the mean number of days alive without life support in each group and present results as mean differences and incidence rate ratios with 95% credibility intervals (CrIs). Additional count outcomes will be analysed similarly and binary outcomes will be analysed using logistic regression models with results presented as probabilities, relative risks and risk differences with 95% CrIs. We will present probabilities of any benefit/harm, clinically important benefit/harm and probabilities of effects smaller than pre-defined clinically minimally important differences for all outcomes analysed. Analyses will be adjusted for stratification variables and conducted using weakly informative priors supplemented by sensitivity analyses using sceptic priors. DISCUSSION: This secondary, pre-planned Bayesian analysis will supplement the primary, conventional analysis and may help clinicians, researchers and policymakers interpret the results of the COVID STEROID 2 trial while avoiding arbitrarily dichotomised interpretations of the results. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04509973; EudraCT: 2020-003363-25.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/administration & dosage , Hypoxia/drug therapy , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Bayes Theorem , Humans
12.
Phys Ther ; 101(1)2021 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883146

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this case series was to describe the experience of Swiss physical therapists in the treatment of patients with COVID-19 during their acute care hospital stay and to discuss challenges and potential strategies in the clinical management of these patients. METHODS: We report 11 cases of patients with COVID-19 from 5 Swiss hospitals that illustrate the various indications for physical therapy, clinical challenges, potential treatment methods, and short-term response to treatment. RESULTS: Physical therapists actively treated patients with COVID-19 on wards and in the intensive care unit. Interventions ranged from patient education, to prone positioning, to early mobilization and respiratory therapy. Patients were often unstable with quick exacerbation of symptoms and a slow and fluctuant recovery. Additionally, many patients who were critically ill developed severe weakness, postextubation dysphagia, weaning failure, or presented with anxiety or delirium. In this setting, physical therapy was challenging and required specialized and individualized therapeutic strategies. Most patients adopted the proposed treatment strategies, and lung function and physical strength improved over time. CONCLUSION: Physical therapists clearly have a role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on our experience in Switzerland, we recommend that physical therapists routinely screen and assess patients for respiratory symptoms and exercise tolerance on acute wards. Treatment of patients who are critically ill should start as soon as possible to limit further sequelae. More research is needed for awake prone positioning and early breathing exercises as well as post-COVID rehabilitation. IMPACT: To date, there are few data on the physical therapist management of patients with COVID-19. This article is among the first to describe the role of physical therapists in the complex pandemic environment and to describe the potential treatment strategies for countering the various challenges in the treatment of these patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Critical Illness/therapy , Physical Therapists/organization & administration , Physical Therapy Modalities/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Muscle Strength , Patient Positioning , Switzerland
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