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1.
Eur J Intern Med ; 2021 Dec 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587881

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES AND BACKGROUND: Convalescent plasma (CP) has been used worldwide to contrast SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since April 2020, it has also been used in the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in the Veneto region (Italy), along with all the other available drugs and therapeutic tools. Here we report data analysis and clinical results in 1,517 COVID-19 inpatients treated with CP containing high-titre neutralizing anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (CCP). Mortality after 30 days of hospitalization has been considered primary outcome, by comparing patients treated with CCP vs all COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals of the Veneto region in a one-year period (from April 2020 to April 2021). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Adult inpatients with a severe form of COVID-19 have been enrolled, with at least one of the following inclusion criteria: 1) tachypnea with respiratory rate (RR) ≥ 30 breaths/min; 2) oxygen saturation (SpO2) ≤ 93% at rest and in room air; 3) partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2)/fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) ≤ 200 mmHg, 4) radiological picture and/or chest CT scan showing signs of interstitial disease and/or rapid progression of lung involvement. Patients received a maximum of three therapeutic fractions (TFs) of CCP with a neutralizing antibody titre of ≥ 1:160, administered over a period of 3-5 days. If TFs of CCP with titre ≥ 1:160 were unavailable, 2 with antibody titre of ≥ 1:80 have been administered. RESULTS: Of the 1,517 patients treated with CCP, 209 deceased at the 30-day follow-up (14%). Death was significantly associated with an older age (p<0.001), a longer time of hospitalization before CCP infusion (p<0.001), a greater number of inclusion criteria (p<0.001) and associated comorbidities (p<0.001). Conditions significantly associated with an increased frequency of death were PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 200 (p<0.001) and tachypnea with RR>30 (p<0.05) at entry, concurrent arterial hypertension (p<0.001), cardiovascular disease (p<0.001), chronic kidney disease (p<0.001), dyslipidemia (p<0.05) and cancer (p<0.05). Moreover, factors leading to an unfavorable prognosis were a life-threatening disease (p<0.001), admission to Intensive Care Unit (p<0.001), high flow oxygen therapy or mechanical ventilation (p<0.05) and a chest X-ray showing consolidation area (p<0.001). By analyzing the regional report of hospitalized patients, a comparison of mortality by age group, with respect to our series of patients treated with CCP, has been made. Mortality was altogether lower in patients treated with CCP (14% v. 25%), especially in the group of the elderly patients (23% vs 40%,), with a strong significance (p<0.001). As regards the safety of CCP administration, 16 adverse events were recorded out of a total of 3,937 transfused TFs (0,4%). CONCLUSIONS: To overcome the difficulties of setting up a randomized controlled study in an emergency period, a data collection from a large series of patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to CCP therapy with well-defined inclusion criteria has been implemented in the Veneto region. Our results have shown that in patients with severe COVID-19 early treatment with CCP might contribute to a favourable outcome, with a reduced mortality, in absence of relevant adverse events.

2.
J Clin Med ; 10(23)2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562185

ABSTRACT

Across the world, people have avoided seeking medical attention during the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in a marked reduction in emergency department (ED) visits. This retrospective cohort study examines in detail how the present pandemic affects ED use by the elderly. The regional database on ED visits in Veneto (northeastern Italy) was consulted to extract anonymous data on all ED visits during 2019 and 2020, along with details concerning patients' characteristics (access mode, triage code, chief complaint, and outcome). A year-on-year comparison was drawn between 2019 and 2020. There was a 25.3% decrease in ED visits in 2020 compared to the previous year. The decrease ranged from -52.4% in March to -18.4% in September when comparing the same months in the two years. This decrease started in late February 2020, with the lowest numbers of visits recorded in March and April 2020 (during the "first wave" of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy), and in the autumn (during the "second wave"). The proportion of visits to the ED by ambulance has increased sharply since March 2020, and patients arrived more frequently with severe conditions (red or yellow triage tags) that often required a hospitalization. The greatest decrease was in fact observed for non-urgent complaints. This decreased concerned a wide range of conditions, including chest pain and abdominal pain. The sharp reduction observed in the present study is unlikely to be attributed entirely to the effect of lockdown measures. Individual psychological and media-induced fear of contagion most likely played a relevant role in leading people to avoid seeking medical attention.

3.
Ital J Pediatr ; 47(1): 218, 2021 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1503616

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has stretched healthcare system capacities worldwide and deterred people from seeking medical support at Emergency Departments (ED). Nevertheless, population-based studies examining the consequences on children are lacking. METHODS: All ED visits from 2019 to 2020 in Veneto, Italy (4.9 million residents) were collected. Anonymized records of pediatric (≤14 years) ED visits included patient characteristics, arrival mode, triage code, clinical presentation, and discharge mode. Year-on-year variation of the main ED visit characteristics, and descriptive trends throughout the study period have been examined. RESULTS: Overall, 425,875 ED presentations were collected, 279,481 in 2019, and 146,394 in 2020 (- 48%), with a peak (- 79%) in March-April (first pandemic wave), and a second peak (below - 60%) in November-December (second pandemic wave). Burn or trauma, and fever were the two most common clinical presentations. Visits for nonurgent conditions underwent the strongest reduction during both pandemic waves, while urgent conditions reduced less sharply. ED arrival by ambulance was more common in 2020 (4.5%) than 2019 (3.5%), with a higher proportion of red triage codes (0.5%, and 0.4% respectively), and hospitalizations following ED discharge (9.1%, and 5.9% respectively). CONCLUSION: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatric ED presentations underwent a steeper reduction than that observed for adults. Lockdown and fear of contagion in hospital-based services likely deterred parents from seeking medical support for their children. Given COVID-19 could become endemic, it is imperative that public health experts guarantee unhindered access to medical support for urgent, and less urgent health conditions, while minimizing infectious disease risks, to prevent children from suffering direct and indirect consequences of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Age Factors , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , Emergencies , Facilities and Services Utilization , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy , Male , Retrospective Studies
4.
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis ; 31(9): 2612-2618, 2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343329

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Diabetes conveys an increased risk of infectious diseases and related mortality. We investigated risk of ascertained SARS-CoV-2 infection in diabetes subjects from the Veneto Region, Northeastern Italy, as well as the risk of being admitted to hospital or intensive care unit (ICU), or mortality for COVID-19. METHODS AND RESULTS: Diabetic subjects were identified by linkage of multiple health archives. The rest of the population served as reference. Information on ascertained infection by SARS-CoV-2, admission to hospital, admission to ICU and mortality in the period from February 21 to July 31, 2020 were retrieved from the regional registry of COVID-19. Subjects with ascertained diabetes were 269,830 (55.2% men; median age 72 years). Reference subjects were 4,681,239 (men 48.6%, median age 46 years). Ratios of age- and gender-standardized rates (RR) [95% CI] for ascertained infection, admission to hospital, admission to ICU and disease-related death in diabetic subjects were 1.31 [1.19-1.45], 2.11 [1.83-2.44], 2.45 [1.96-3.07], 1.87 [1.68-2.09], all p < 0.001. The highest RR of ascertained infection was observed in diabetic men aged 20-39 years: 1.90 [1.04-3.21]. The highest RR of ICU admission and death were observed in diabetic men aged 40-59 years: 3.47 [2.00-5.70] and 5.54 [2.23-12.1], respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These data, observed in a large population of ∼5 million people of whom ∼250,000 with diabetes, show that diabetes not only conveys a poorer outcome in COVID-19 but also confers an increased risk of ascertained infection from SARS-CoV-2. Men of young or mature age have the highest relative risks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Diabetes Complications/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
6.
Euro Surveill ; 25(47)2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-976159

ABSTRACT

BackgroundVeneto was one of the Italian regions hit hardest by the early phase of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.AimThis paper describes the public health response and epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections in the Veneto Region from 21 February to 2 April 2020.MethodsInformation on the public health response was collected from regional health authorities' official sources. Epidemiological data were extracted from a web-based regional surveillance system. The epidemic curve was represented by date of testing. Characteristics of hospitalised COVID-19 cases were described and compared to those never admitted to hospital. Age- and sex-stratified case-fatality ratios (CFRs) were calculated.ResultsKey elements of the regional public health response were thorough case-finding and contact tracing, home care for non-severe cases, creation of dedicated COVID-19 healthcare facilities and activation of sub-intensive care units for non-invasive ventilation. As at 2 April 2020, 91,345 individuals were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and 10,457 (11.4%) were positive. Testing and attack rates were 18.6 per 1,000 and 213.2 per 100,000 population, respectively. The epidemic peaked around 20 to 24 March, with case numbers declining thereafter. Hospitalised cases (n = 3,623; 34.6%) were older and more frequently male compared with never-hospitalised cases. The CFR was 5.6% overall, and was higher among males and people > 60 years of age.ConclusionIn the Veneto Region, the strict social distancing measures imposed by the Italian government were supported by thorough case finding and contact tracing, as well as well-defined roles for different levels of care.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Public Health , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
7.
Sci Total Environ ; 760: 143355, 2021 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-907093

ABSTRACT

After the appearance of COVID-19 in China last December 2019, Italy was the first European country to be severely affected by the outbreak. The first diagnosis in Italy was on February 20, 2020, followed by the establishment of a light and a tight lockdown on February 23 and on March 8, 2020, respectively. The virus spread rapidly, particularly in the North of the country in the 'Padan Plain' area, known as one of the most polluted regions in Europe. Air pollution has been recently hypothesized to enhance the clinical severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection, acting through adverse effects on immunity, induction of respiratory and other chronic disease, upregulation of viral receptor ACE-2, and possible pathogen transportation as a virus carrier. We investigated the association between air pollution and subsequent COVID-19 mortality rates within two Italian regions (Veneto and Emilia-Romagna). We estimated ground-level nitrogen dioxide through its tropospheric levels using data available from the Sentinel-5P satellites of the European Space Agency Copernicus Earth Observation Programme before the lockdown. We then examined COVID-19 mortality rates in relation to the nitrogen dioxide levels at three 14-day lag points after the lockdown, namely March 8, 22 and April 5, 2020. Using a multivariable negative binomial regression model, we found an association between nitrogen dioxide and COVID-19 mortality. Although ecological data provide only weak evidence, these findings indicate an association between air pollution levels and COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , China/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Europe , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Nitrogen Dioxide , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2
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