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1.
Respir Res ; 23(1): 187, 2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938327

ABSTRACT

Some COVID-19 patients experience dyspnea without objective impairment of pulmonary or cardiac function. This study determined diaphragm function and its central voluntary activation as a potential correlate with exertional dyspnea after COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in ten patients and matched controls. One year post discharge, both pulmonary function tests and echocardiography were normal. However, six patients with persisting dyspnea on exertion showed impaired volitional diaphragm function and control based on ultrasound, magnetic stimulation and balloon catheter-based recordings. Diaphragm dysfunction with impaired voluntary activation can be present 1 year after severe COVID-19 ARDS and may relate to exertional dyspnea.This prospective case-control study was registered under the trial registration number NCT04854863 April, 22 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Aftercare , COVID-19/complications , Case-Control Studies , Diaphragm/diagnostic imaging , Dyspnea/diagnosis , Dyspnea/etiology , Humans , Patient Discharge , Physical Exertion , Respiration, Artificial , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , SARS-CoV-2
2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-337252

ABSTRACT

Background: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) results in significant hypoxia, and ARDS is the central pathology of COVID-19. Inhaled prostacyclin has been proposed as a therapy for ARDS, but data regarding its role in this syndrome are unavailable. Therefore, we investigated whether inhaled prostacyclin would affect the oxygenation and survival of patients suffering from ARDS. Methods. We performed a prospective randomized controlled single-blind multicenter trial across Germany. The trial was conducted from March 2019 with final follow-up on 12th of August 2021. Patients with moderate to severe ARDS were included and randomized to receive either inhaled prostacyclin (3 times/day for 5 days) or sodium chloride. The primary outcome was the oxygenation index in the intervention and control groups on Day 5 of therapy. Secondary outcomes were mortality, secondary organ failure, disease severity and adverse events. Results. Of 707 patients approached 150 patients were randomized to receive inhaled prostacyclin (n = 73) or sodium chloride (n = 77). Data from 144 patients were analyzed. The baseline oxygenation index did not differ between groups. The primary analysis of the study was negative, and prostacyclin improved oxygenation by 20 mmHg more than NaCl (p = 0·17). Oxygenation was significantly improved in patients with ARDS who were COVID-19-positive (34 mmHg, p = 0·04). Mortality did not differ between groups. Secondary organ failure and adverse events were similar in the intervention and control groups. Conclusions. Although the primary result of our study was negative, our data suggest that inhaled prostacyclin might be a more beneficial treatment than standard care for patients with ARDS. Trial registration: The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Tübingen (899/2018AMG1) and the corresponding ethical review boards of all participating centers. The trial was also approved by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM, EudraCT No. 2016-003168-37) and registered at clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT03111212 ).

3.
Crit Care Med ; 50(4): 595-606, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764676

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate healthcare system-driven variation in general characteristics, interventions, and outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients admitted to the ICU within one Western European region across three countries. DESIGN: Multicenter observational cohort study. SETTING: Seven ICUs in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, one region across Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany. PATIENTS: Consecutive COVID-19 patients supported in the ICU during the first pandemic wave. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory values, and outcome data were retrieved after ethical approval and data-sharing agreements. Descriptive statistics were performed to investigate country-related practice variation. From March 2, 2020, to August 12, 2020, 551 patients were admitted. Mean age was 65.4 ± 11.2 years, and 29% were female. At admission, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores were 15.0 ± 5.5, 16.8 ± 5.5, and 15.8 ± 5.3 (p = 0.002), and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores were 4.4 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.2, and 7.7 ± 3.2 (p < 0.001) in the Belgian, Dutch, and German parts of Euregio, respectively. The ICU mortality rate was 22%, 42%, and 44%, respectively (p < 0.001). Large differences were observed in the frequency of organ support, antimicrobial/inflammatory therapy application, and ICU capacity. Mixed-multivariable logistic regression analyses showed that differences in ICU mortality were independent of age, sex, disease severity, comorbidities, support strategies, therapies, and complications. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients admitted to ICUs within one region, the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, differed significantly in general characteristics, applied interventions, and outcomes despite presumed genetic and socioeconomic background, admission diagnosis, access to international literature, and data collection are similar. Variances in healthcare systems' organization, particularly ICU capacity and admission criteria, combined with a rapidly spreading pandemic might be important drivers for the observed differences. Heterogeneity between patient groups but also healthcare systems should be presumed to interfere with outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Intensive Care Units , APACHE , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Patient Transfer , Treatment Outcome
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321972

ABSTRACT

Background: Some patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) experience prolonged fatigue and dyspnoea without objective impairment of pulmonary or cardiac function. This study determined diaphragm function and its central voluntary activation as a possible pathophysiological correlate after severe COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).Methods:Ten patients with severe COVID-19 ARDS treated with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) (6 female, age 56±14 years, 63±45 days of IMV) and ten matched healthy controls underwent pulmonary function tests (PFTs), 6-minute walk test, echocardiography, diaphragm ultrasound, and invasive recording of twitch transdiaphragmatic pressure (twPdi) following magnetic diaphragm stimulation. Twitch interpolation was used to determine the diaphragm voluntary activation index (DVAI);reflecting central diaphragm activation.Findings: One year post discharge, neither PFTs nor echocardiography were indicative of significant abnormalities in severe COVID-19 survivors. However, six patients reported persisting dyspnoea on exertion (severe in two, moderate in four). On ultrasound, the diaphragm thickening ratio was lower in patients versus controls (1.87±0.37 vs. 2.76±0.72;p<0.01), and diaphragm excursion velocity during a maximum sniff manoeuvre was associated with dyspnoea. TwPdi following cervical magnetic stimulation did not differ between patients and controls overall, but twPdi half relaxation time progressively increased in parallel with dyspnoea severity (ANOVA p=0.03), while sniff Pdi progressively decreased (ANOVA p=0.05). DVAI was lower in patients versus controls (30±27% vs 79±6%, p<0.01) and was associated with dyspnoea (ANOVA p=0.05).Interpretation: Inspiratory muscle dysfunction with impaired central voluntary activation of the diaphragm is present one year after severe COVID-19 ARDS treated with IMV, and relates to dyspnoea.Trial Registration: This prospective case-control study was registered with number, (NCT04854863)Funding: None to declare. Declaration of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.Ethical Approval: This study was approved by the local ethics committee (Ethikkommission an der Medizinischen Fakultät der Rheinisch-Westfälischen Technischen Hochschule Aachen, CTCA-A-Nr. 20-515, AZ EK 443/20).

5.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316141

ABSTRACT

Background: Intensive Care Resources are heavily utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, risk stratification and prediction of SARS-CoV-2 patient clinical outcomes upon ICU admission remain inadequate. This study aimed to develop a machine learning model, based on retrospective & prospective clinical data, to stratify patient risk and predict ICU survival and outcomes. Methods: . A Germany-wide electronic registry was established to pseudonymously collect admission, therapeutic and discharge information of SARS-CoV-2 ICU patients retrospectively and prospectively. Machine learning approaches were evaluated for the accuracy and interpretability of predictions. The Explainable Boosting Machine approach was selected as the most suitable method. Individual, non-linear shape functions for predictive parameters and parameter interactions are reported. Results: . 1,039 patients were included in the Explainable Boosting Machine model, 596 patients retrospectively collected, and 443 patients prospectively collected. The model for prediction of general ICU outcome was shown to be more reliable to predict “survival”. Age, inflammatory and thrombotic activity, and severity of ARDS at ICU admission were shown to be predictive of ICU survival. Patients’ age, pulmonary dysfunction and transfer from an external institution were predictors for ECMO therapy. The interaction of patient age with D-dimer levels on admission and creatinine levels with SOFA score without GCS were predictors for renal replacement therapy. Conclusions: . Using Explainable Boosting Machine analysis, we confirmed and weighed previously reported and identified novel predictors for outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Using this strategy, predictive modeling of COVID-19 ICU patient outcomes can be performed overcoming the limitations of linear regression models. Trial registration. “ClinicalTrials” (clinicaltrials.gov) under NCT04455451

7.
Infection ; 50(1): 93-106, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661756

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This executive summary of a national living guideline aims to provide rapid evidence based recommendations on the role of drug interventions in the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. METHODS: The guideline makes use of a systematic assessment and decision process using an evidence to decision framework (GRADE) as recommended standard WHO (2021). Recommendations are consented by an interdisciplinary panel. Evidence analysis and interpretation is supported by the CEOsys project providing extensive literature searches and living (meta-) analyses. For this executive summary, selected key recommendations on drug therapy are presented including the quality of the evidence and rationale for the level of recommendation. RESULTS: The guideline contains 11 key recommendations for COVID-19 drug therapy, eight of which are based on systematic review and/or meta-analysis, while three recommendations represent consensus expert opinion. Based on current evidence, the panel makes strong recommendations for corticosteroids (WHO scale 5-9) and prophylactic anticoagulation (all hospitalized patients with COVID-19) as standard of care. Intensified anticoagulation may be considered for patients with additional risk factors for venous thromboembolisms (VTE) and a low bleeding risk. The IL-6 antagonist tocilizumab may be added in case of high supplemental oxygen requirement and progressive disease (WHO scale 5-6). Treatment with nMABs may be considered for selected inpatients with an early SARS-CoV-2 infection that are not hospitalized for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma, azithromycin, ivermectin or vitamin D3 should not be used in COVID-19 routine care. CONCLUSION: For COVID-19 drug therapy, there are several options that are sufficiently supported by evidence. The living guidance will be updated as new evidence emerges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol ; 9(2): 141-154, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1640634

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to objectify and compare persisting self-reported symptoms in initially hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients after infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by applying clinical standardized measures. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of adult patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection including medical history, neurological examination, blood markers, neuropsychological testing, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). RESULTS: Fifty patients with persisting symptoms for at least 4 weeks were included and classified by initial hospitalization status. Median time from SARS-CoV-2 detection to investigation was 29.3 weeks (range 3.3-57.9). Although individual cognitive performance was generally within the normative range in both groups, mostly mild deficits were found in attention, executive functions, and memory. Hospitalized patients performed worse in global cognition, logical reasoning, and processes of verbal memory. In both groups, fatigue severity was associated with reduced performance in attention and psychomotor speed tasks (rs = -0.40, p < 0.05) and reduced quality of life (EQ5D, rs = 0.57, p < 0.001) and with more persisting symptoms (median 3 vs. 6, p < 0.01). PROMs identified fatigue, reduced sleep quality, and increased anxiety and depression in both groups but more pronounced in non-hospitalized patients. Brain MRI revealed microbleeds exclusively in hospitalized patients (n = 5). INTERPRETATION: Regardless of initial COVID-19 severity, an individuals' mental and physical health can be severely impaired in the long-term limitedly objectified by clinical standard diagnostic with abnormalities primarily found in hospitalized patients. This needs to be considered when planning rehabilitation therapies and should give rise to new biomarker research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/physiopathology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Quality of Life , Self Report , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
9.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 734, 2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625506

ABSTRACT

Although male Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients have higher Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission rates and a worse disease course, a comprehensive analysis of female and male ICU survival and underlying factors such as comorbidities, risk factors, and/or anti-infection/inflammatory therapy administration is currently lacking. Therefore, we investigated the association between sex and ICU survival, adjusting for these and other variables. In this multicenter observational cohort study, all patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia admitted to seven ICUs in one region across Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany, and requiring vital organ support during the first pandemic wave were included. With a random intercept for a center, mixed-effects logistic regression was used to investigate the association between sex and ICU survival. Models were adjusted for age, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) score, comorbidities, and anti-infection/inflammatory therapy. Interaction terms were added to investigate effect modifications by sex with country and sex with obesity. A total of 551 patients (29% were females) were included. Mean age was 65.4 ± 11.2 years. Females were more often obese and smoked less frequently than males (p-value 0.001 and 0.042, respectively). APACHE II scores of females and males were comparable. Overall, ICU mortality was 12% lower in females than males (27% vs 39% respectively, p-value < 0.01) with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.62 (95%CI 0.39-0.96, p-value 0.032) after adjustment for age and APACHE II score, 0.63 (95%CI 0.40-0.99, p-value 0.044) after additional adjustment for comorbidities, and 0.63 (95%CI 0.39-0.99, p-value 0.047) after adjustment for anti-infection/inflammatory therapy. No effect modifications by sex with country and sex with obesity were found (p-values for interaction > 0.23 and 0.84, respectively). ICU survival in female SARS-CoV-2 patients was higher than in male patients, independent of age, disease severity, smoking, obesity, comorbidities, anti-infection/inflammatory therapy, and country. Sex-specific biological mechanisms may play a role, emphasizing the need to address diversity, such as more sex-specific prediction, prognostic, and therapeutic approach strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Aged , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index
10.
J Thorac Dis ; 13(10): 5911-5924, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527068

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) showed reasonable outcomes. However, recent studies indicated a negative trend and analysis is needed. METHODS: Baseline characteristics, laboratory parameters, and outcomes of ECMO-supported patients with COVID-19 were analyzed in a retrospective single-center study. We included hospital admissions until February 28, 2021; patients were followed until discharge/death. Eventually, we compared data between patients hospitalized before and after September 1, 2020. RESULTS: Median age of patients treated with ECMO (n=39) was 56 years; most patients were males (n=28, 72%). Median mechanical ventilation time (prior to ECMO) was 6 days, while the median ECMO duration was 19 days. Overall survival rate was 41%. In the sub-analysis, survival until discharge in the first and second epidemic waves was 53% (n=19) and 30% (n=20), respectively (P=0.2). At baseline, compared with patients of the first wave, those of the second wave had higher median body mass index (28.2 vs. 31.1 kg/m2, respectively, P=0.02), bicarbonate (27 vs. 31.8 mmol/L, respectively, P=0.033), plasma free hemoglobin (36 vs. 58 mg/L, respectively, P=0.013), alanine aminotransferase (33 vs. 52 U/L, respectively, P=0.018), and pH (7.29 vs. 7.42, respectively, P=0.005), lower rate of pulmonary hypertension (32% vs. 0%, respectively, P=0.008), lower positive end-expiratory pressure (14 vs. 12 cmH2O, respectively, P=0.04), longer median ECMO duration (16 vs. 24.5 days, respectively, P=0.074), and more frequent major bleeding events (42% vs. 80%, respectively, P=0.022). CONCLUSIONS: ECMO-supported patients with COVID-19 had an overall survival rate of 41%. Similar to international registries, we observed less favorable outcomes during the second wave. Further research is needed to confirm this signal and find predictors for mortality.

11.
J Clin Med ; 10(8)2021 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526837

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed a significant burden on hospitals worldwide. Objective biomarkers for early risk stratification and clinical management are still lacking. The aim of this work was to determine whether bioactive adrenomedullin can assist in the risk stratification and clinical management of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Fifty-three patients with confirmed COVID-19 were included in this prospective observational cohort study between March and April 2020. Bioactive adrenomedullin (bio-ADM) plasma concentration was measured daily for seven days after admission. The prognostic value and clinical significance of bio-ADM plasma levels were evaluated for the severity of respiratory failure, the need for extracorporeal organ support and outcome (28-day mortality). Bio-ADM levels increased with the severity of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS; p < 0.001) and were significantly elevated in invasively ventilated patients (p = 0.006) and patients in need of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (p = 0.040) or renal replacement therapy (RRT; p < 0.001) compared to patients without these conditions. Non-survivors showed significantly higher bio-ADM levels than survivors (p = 0.010). Bio-ADM levels predicted 28-day mortality (C-index 0.72, 95% confidence interval 0.56-0.87, p < 0.001). Bio-ADM plasma levels correlate with disease severity, the need for extracorporeal organ assistance, and outcome, and highlight the promising value of bio-ADM in the early risk stratification and management of patients with COVID-19.

12.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1136, 2021 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504761

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of biometric covariates on risk for adverse outcomes of COVID-19 disease was assessed by numerous observational studies on unstratified cohorts, which show great heterogeneity. However, multilevel evaluations to find possible complex, e.g. non-monotonic multi-variate patterns reflecting mutual interference of parameters are missing. We used a more detailed, computational analysis to investigate the influence of biometric differences on mortality and disease evolution among severely ill COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We analyzed a group of COVID-19 patients requiring Intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. For further analysis, the study group was segmented into six subgroups according to Body mass index (BMI) and age. To link the BMI/age derived subgroups with risk factors, we performed an enrichment analysis of diagnostic parameters and comorbidities. To suppress spurious patterns, multiple segmentations were analyzed and integrated into a consensus score for each analysis step. RESULTS: We analyzed 81 COVID-19 patients, of whom 67 required mechanical ventilation (MV). Mean mortality was 35.8%. We found a complex, non-monotonic interaction between age, BMI and mortality. A subcohort of patients with younger age and intermediate BMI exhibited a strongly reduced mortality risk (p < 0.001), while differences in all other groups were not significant. Univariate impacts of BMI or age on mortality were missing. Comparing MV with non-MV patients, we found an enrichment of baseline CRP, PCT and D-Dimers within the MV group, but not when comparing survivors vs. non-survivors within the MV patient group. CONCLUSIONS: The aim of this study was to get a more detailed insight into the influence of biometric covariates on the outcome of COVID-19 patients with high degree of severity. We found that survival in MV is affected by complex interactions of covariates differing to the reported covariates, which are hidden in generic, non-stratified studies on risk factors. Hence, our study suggests that a detailed, multivariate pattern analysis on larger patient cohorts reflecting the specific disease stages might reveal more specific patterns of risk factors supporting individually adapted treatment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2
13.
J Thorac Dis ; 13(10): 5911-5924, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468890

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) showed reasonable outcomes. However, recent studies indicated a negative trend and analysis is needed. METHODS: Baseline characteristics, laboratory parameters, and outcomes of ECMO-supported patients with COVID-19 were analyzed in a retrospective single-center study. We included hospital admissions until February 28, 2021; patients were followed until discharge/death. Eventually, we compared data between patients hospitalized before and after September 1, 2020. RESULTS: Median age of patients treated with ECMO (n=39) was 56 years; most patients were males (n=28, 72%). Median mechanical ventilation time (prior to ECMO) was 6 days, while the median ECMO duration was 19 days. Overall survival rate was 41%. In the sub-analysis, survival until discharge in the first and second epidemic waves was 53% (n=19) and 30% (n=20), respectively (P=0.2). At baseline, compared with patients of the first wave, those of the second wave had higher median body mass index (28.2 vs. 31.1 kg/m2, respectively, P=0.02), bicarbonate (27 vs. 31.8 mmol/L, respectively, P=0.033), plasma free hemoglobin (36 vs. 58 mg/L, respectively, P=0.013), alanine aminotransferase (33 vs. 52 U/L, respectively, P=0.018), and pH (7.29 vs. 7.42, respectively, P=0.005), lower rate of pulmonary hypertension (32% vs. 0%, respectively, P=0.008), lower positive end-expiratory pressure (14 vs. 12 cmH2O, respectively, P=0.04), longer median ECMO duration (16 vs. 24.5 days, respectively, P=0.074), and more frequent major bleeding events (42% vs. 80%, respectively, P=0.022). CONCLUSIONS: ECMO-supported patients with COVID-19 had an overall survival rate of 41%. Similar to international registries, we observed less favorable outcomes during the second wave. Further research is needed to confirm this signal and find predictors for mortality.

14.
Crit Care Med ; 50(4): 595-606, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462525

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To investigate healthcare system-driven variation in general characteristics, interventions, and outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients admitted to the ICU within one Western European region across three countries. DESIGN: Multicenter observational cohort study. SETTING: Seven ICUs in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, one region across Belgium, The Netherlands, and Germany. PATIENTS: Consecutive COVID-19 patients supported in the ICU during the first pandemic wave. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Baseline demographic and clinical characteristics, laboratory values, and outcome data were retrieved after ethical approval and data-sharing agreements. Descriptive statistics were performed to investigate country-related practice variation. From March 2, 2020, to August 12, 2020, 551 patients were admitted. Mean age was 65.4 ± 11.2 years, and 29% were female. At admission, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores were 15.0 ± 5.5, 16.8 ± 5.5, and 15.8 ± 5.3 (p = 0.002), and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores were 4.4 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.2, and 7.7 ± 3.2 (p < 0.001) in the Belgian, Dutch, and German parts of Euregio, respectively. The ICU mortality rate was 22%, 42%, and 44%, respectively (p < 0.001). Large differences were observed in the frequency of organ support, antimicrobial/inflammatory therapy application, and ICU capacity. Mixed-multivariable logistic regression analyses showed that differences in ICU mortality were independent of age, sex, disease severity, comorbidities, support strategies, therapies, and complications. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients admitted to ICUs within one region, the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, differed significantly in general characteristics, applied interventions, and outcomes despite presumed genetic and socioeconomic background, admission diagnosis, access to international literature, and data collection are similar. Variances in healthcare systems' organization, particularly ICU capacity and admission criteria, combined with a rapidly spreading pandemic might be important drivers for the observed differences. Heterogeneity between patient groups but also healthcare systems should be presumed to interfere with outcomes in coronavirus disease 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/methods , Intensive Care Units , APACHE , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Patient Transfer , Treatment Outcome
16.
Crit Care ; 25(1): 295, 2021 Aug 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1362062

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Intensive Care Resources are heavily utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, risk stratification and prediction of SARS-CoV-2 patient clinical outcomes upon ICU admission remain inadequate. This study aimed to develop a machine learning model, based on retrospective & prospective clinical data, to stratify patient risk and predict ICU survival and outcomes. METHODS: A Germany-wide electronic registry was established to pseudonymously collect admission, therapeutic and discharge information of SARS-CoV-2 ICU patients retrospectively and prospectively. Machine learning approaches were evaluated for the accuracy and interpretability of predictions. The Explainable Boosting Machine approach was selected as the most suitable method. Individual, non-linear shape functions for predictive parameters and parameter interactions are reported. RESULTS: 1039 patients were included in the Explainable Boosting Machine model, 596 patients retrospectively collected, and 443 patients prospectively collected. The model for prediction of general ICU outcome was shown to be more reliable to predict "survival". Age, inflammatory and thrombotic activity, and severity of ARDS at ICU admission were shown to be predictive of ICU survival. Patients' age, pulmonary dysfunction and transfer from an external institution were predictors for ECMO therapy. The interaction of patient age with D-dimer levels on admission and creatinine levels with SOFA score without GCS were predictors for renal replacement therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Using Explainable Boosting Machine analysis, we confirmed and weighed previously reported and identified novel predictors for outcome in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Using this strategy, predictive modeling of COVID-19 ICU patient outcomes can be performed overcoming the limitations of linear regression models. Trial registration "ClinicalTrials" (clinicaltrials.gov) under NCT04455451.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Illness/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units , Machine Learning , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness/therapy , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Germany , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care
17.
Anaesthesist ; 71(1): 21-29, 2022 01.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317532

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic posed enormous challenges to the German healthcare system and highlighted the need for strategies to recruit, train, and deploy medical personnel. Until now, no holistic concept existed to use medical students as support for professionals in intensive care units (ICU) to avoid staff shortages in medical care. METHOD: In a large-scale pilot project 265 medical students were trained for an ICU assignment. The innovative training module was accompanied by a pre-post questionnaire for self-assessment of the skills learned. 22 weeks after the training module and still during the pandemic deployment, another questionnaire was used to evaluate experiences in deployment and the efficiency of the training module with respect to preparation for ICU deployment. RESULTS: The analysis revealed significant mean differences for all COVID-19-specific variables (safety dimension) in favor of the training module (n = 168). The deployment evaluation showed that the training concept was inconsistently assessed as preparation for the work deployment for 69 of the 89 deployed students in total (53% agreement/47% disagreement). CONCLUSION: The results show a good feasibility of an innovative training concept for medical students with respect to a pandemic deployment as assistants in intensive care units. The concept is suitable for providing additional helpers in intensive care units during a pandemic; however, the inconsistent evaluation indicates that the concept can be expanded and needs to be adapted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Students, Medical , Humans , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Crit Care Med ; 49(7): 1169-1181, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307564

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Although the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic demonstrates the urgent need for the integration of tele-ICUs, there is still a lack of uniform regulations regarding the level of authority. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the impact of the level of authority in tele-ICU care on patient outcomes. DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and Web of Science from inception until August 30, 2020. STUDY SELECTION: We searched for randomized controlled trials and observational studies comparing standard care plus tele-ICU care with standard care alone in critically ill patients. DATA EXTRACTION: Two authors performed data extraction and risk of bias assessment. Mean differences and risk ratios were calculated using a random-effects model. DATA SYNTHESIS: A total of 20 studies with 477,637 patients (ntele-ICU care = 292,319, ncontrol = 185,318) were included. Although "decision-making authority" as the level of authority was associated with a significant reduction in ICU mortality (pooled risk ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71-0.94; p = 0.006), we found no advantage of tele-ICU care in studies with "expert tele-consultation" as the level of authority. With regard to length of stay, "decision-making authority" resulted in an advantage of tele-ICU care (ICU length of stay: pooled mean difference, -0.78; 95% CI, -1.46 to -0.10; p = 0.14; hospital length of stay: pooled mean difference, -1.54; 95% CI, -3.13 to 0.05; p = 0.06), whereas "expert tele-consultation" resulted in an advantage of standard care (ICU length of stay: pooled mean difference, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.10-0.53; p = 0.005; hospital length of stay: pooled mean difference, 0.58; 95% CI, -0.04 to 1.21; p = 0.07). CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to expert tele-consultations, decision-making authority during tele-ICU care reduces mortality and length of stay in the ICU. This work confirms the urgent need for evidence-based ICU telemedicine guidelines and reveals potential benefits of uniform regulations regarding the level of authority when providing tele-ICU care.


Subject(s)
Clinical Decision-Making , Critical Care/methods , Intensive Care Units , Telemedicine , Critical Illness/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Length of Stay , Outcome Assessment, Health Care
19.
Infection ; 50(1): 93-106, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296979

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This executive summary of a national living guideline aims to provide rapid evidence based recommendations on the role of drug interventions in the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. METHODS: The guideline makes use of a systematic assessment and decision process using an evidence to decision framework (GRADE) as recommended standard WHO (2021). Recommendations are consented by an interdisciplinary panel. Evidence analysis and interpretation is supported by the CEOsys project providing extensive literature searches and living (meta-) analyses. For this executive summary, selected key recommendations on drug therapy are presented including the quality of the evidence and rationale for the level of recommendation. RESULTS: The guideline contains 11 key recommendations for COVID-19 drug therapy, eight of which are based on systematic review and/or meta-analysis, while three recommendations represent consensus expert opinion. Based on current evidence, the panel makes strong recommendations for corticosteroids (WHO scale 5-9) and prophylactic anticoagulation (all hospitalized patients with COVID-19) as standard of care. Intensified anticoagulation may be considered for patients with additional risk factors for venous thromboembolisms (VTE) and a low bleeding risk. The IL-6 antagonist tocilizumab may be added in case of high supplemental oxygen requirement and progressive disease (WHO scale 5-6). Treatment with nMABs may be considered for selected inpatients with an early SARS-CoV-2 infection that are not hospitalized for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma, azithromycin, ivermectin or vitamin D3 should not be used in COVID-19 routine care. CONCLUSION: For COVID-19 drug therapy, there are several options that are sufficiently supported by evidence. The living guidance will be updated as new evidence emerges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/therapy , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Intern Med J ; 51(6): 965-967, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280329

ABSTRACT

As data about microbiological testing and the cellular composition of the broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in patients ventilated due to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are lacking, this was investigated in a retrospective analysis (n = 58). Co-infection with pathogens was detected in 31 patients, whereas the analysis of BAL cellularity showed an increased total cell count and an alveolitis dominated by neutrophils. None of the physicians performing bronchoscopies in COVID-19 patients had serological evidence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , Humans , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Therapeutic Irrigation
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