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South Afr J Crit Care ; 36(1)2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2272948
Cardiovascular Journal of Africa ; 33(SUPPL):61, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1766887


Introduction: Studies show that children account for only 1-5% of diagnosed COVID-19 cases, they have milder disease than adults and deaths are extremely rare. The complete clinical picture of pediatric COVID-19 has not yet been fully reported or defined. Additionally, the South African pediatric population has unique clinical characteristics and risk implications and needs investigating. We aimed to characterize COVID-19 in Cape Town children. Methods: The UCT COVID-19 pediatric repository is a prospective cohort recruited via convenience sampling at 3 Western Cape Hospitals. All patients ≤ 18 years who test COVID-19 positive are eligible for inclusion in the study. Results: To date 227 participants, 56%(125/227) male with median age 2 years (IQR:0-6), have been enrolled. Only 28(12%) participants were in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 positive case, 67% of these, were first degree relatives, 28% second degree relatives and 6% health care workers. Comorbidities were present in 125(56%) participants. Of 32 recorded comorbidities, congenital heart disease (CHD), found in 7% of participants, ranked third. CHD subtypes included PDA (4), Tetralogy of Fallot (3), AVSD (2), Pulmonary atresia with VSD (2), truncus arteriosus (1), Coarctation of the Aorta (1), Congenital aortic valve stenosis (1), and ASD (1). Other cardiac comorbidities were, cardiomyopathy (2), primary pulmonary hypertension (1) and rhabdomyoma (1). On presentation 173 (76%) were symptomatic. Predominant symptoms included cough 40%, history of fever 36%, documented fever 34%, difficulty breathing 28%, and nausea or vomiting 20%. On examination, 65% had abnormal heart rates, 47% abnormal respiratory rates, 35% were in respiratory distress and 24% were hypoxic. Of the 227 patients, 169(74%) were admitted to hospital and 33 (15%) were admitted to ICU. In the ICU 79% of patients required non-invasive and 24% invasive ventilation, median length of ICU admission was 3 days (IQR:2-7.5). During admission 38(17%) patients developed COVID-19 complications: secondary infection 10%, sepsis 4%, MIS-C 2%, and myocarditis or new onset heart failure 1%) and 2(0.9%) died, including one patient with AVSD, who presented with severe pulmonary hypertension and acute heart failure post cardiac surgery. Conclusion: We present the initial findings of the UCT pediatric COVID-19 registry. We anticipate that these data will help to complete the clinical picture of COVID-19 in the South African pediatric population.

S Afr Med J ; 110(12): 1176-1179, 2020 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-994161


Triage and rationing of scarce intensive care unit (ICU) resources are an unavoidable necessity. In routine circumstances, ICU triage is premised on the best interests of an individual patient; however, when increased demand exceeds capacity, as during an infectious disease outbreak, healthcare providers need to make difficult decisions to benefit the broader community while still respecting individual interests. We are currently living through an unprecedented period, with South Africa (SA) facing the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Critical Care Society of Southern Africa (CCSSA) expedited the development of a triage guidance document to inform the appropriate and fair use of scarce ICU resources during this pandemic. Triage decision-making is based on the clinical odds of a positive ICU outcome, balanced against the risk of mortality and longer-term morbidity affecting quality of life. Factors such as age and comorbid conditions are considered for their potential impact on clinical outcome, but are never the sole criteria for denying ICU-level care. Arbitrary, unfair discrimination is never condoned. The CCSSA COVID-19 triage guideline is aligned with SA law and international ethical standards, and upholds respect for all persons. The Bill of Rights, however, does not mandate the level of care enshrined in the constitutional right to healthcare. ICU admission is not always appropriate, available or feasible for every person suffering critical illness or injury; however, everyone has the right to receive appropriate healthcare at another level. If ICU resources are used for people who do not stand to benefit, this effectively denies others access to potentially life-saving healthcare. Appropriate triaging can therefore be considered a constitutional imperative.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Africa, Southern , Critical Care , Health Care Rationing , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa , Triage
Non-conventional in English | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-725140