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1.
J Clin Med ; 11(11)2022 Jun 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1884234

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus infections occurred in repeated waves caused by different variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), with the number of patients increasing during each wave. A private after-hours house-call (AHHC) service provides hospital-at-home (HaH) services to patients in Japan requiring oxygen when hospital beds are in short supply. This retrospective study aimed to compare the characteristics of COVID-19 patients treated by the AHHC service during the COVID-19 waves caused by the Alpha (March-June 2021) and Delta (July-December 2021) SARS-CoV-2 variants. All patients with COVID-19 treated by the AHHC service from March to December 2021 while awaiting hospitalization were included. The data were collected from medical records and follow-up telephone interviews. The AHHC service treated 55 and 273 COVID-19 patients during the Alpha and Delta waves, respectively. The patients treated during the Delta wave were significantly younger than those treated during the Alpha wave (median: 63 years and 47 years, respectively; p < 0.001). Disease severity did not differ significantly between the two waves, but the crude case-fatality rate was significantly higher during the Alpha wave (10/55, 18.2%) than during the Delta wave (4/273, 1.4%; p < 0.001). The patient characteristics and outcomes differed between the Alpha and Delta waves.

2.
Int J Gen Med ; 15: 4657-4664, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883791

ABSTRACT

Purpose: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, visits to emergency department (ED) have significantly declined worldwide. The purpose of this study was to identify the trend of visits to ED for different diseases at the peak and slack stages of the epidemic. Patients and Methods: This was a retrospective observational study conducted in a tertiary referral medical center in northern Taiwan. We recorded weekly ED visits for myocardial infarction with or without ST-elevation (STEMI or NSTEMI), out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA), acute stroke, and congestive heart failure from 2016 to 2021. We compared the local epidemic peak periods (calendar weeks 4-18, 2020 and calendar weeks 21-31, 2021) and its corresponding slack periods (calendar weeks 4-18, 2021 and calendar weeks 21-31, 2020) with the baseline period (2016-2019) using Mann-Whitney test to identify the difference. Results: We observed a significant decline in ED visits (median [Q1, Q3]) during the epidemic for OHCA (6 [5, 7] and 5 [4, 6], p = 0.046, for baseline and peak period, respectively, in week 4-18), acute stroke (41.5 [38, 47] and 35 [28, 39], p < 0.001, in week 4-18, 40 [35, 45] and 35 [28, 40], p = 0.039, in week 21-31) and CHF (28 [24.25, 33] and 19 [12, 23], p < 0.001, in week 4-18, 18 [16, 23] and 13 [11, 16], p = 0.001, in week 21-31). Significant difference was not observed in patients with NSTEMI and STEMI in both week 4-18 and 21-31, and cardiac arrest in week 21-31. There was a rebound in ED visits in the slack period. Conclusion: This study revealed that ED visits significantly declined during the COVID-19 epidemic and rebounded in the slack period. The trend was significant for acute stroke and heart failure but was relatively less prominent effect for emergent events such as cardiac arrest or myocardial infarction.

3.
Global Health ; 18(1): 58, 2022 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883530

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Apart from infecting a large number of people around the world and causing the death of many people, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have changed the healthcare processes of other diseases by changing the allocation of health resources and changing people's access or intention to healthcare systems. OBJECTIVE: To compare the incidence of endpoints marking delayed healthcare seeking in medical emergencies, before and during the pandemic. METHODS: Based on a PICO model, medical emergency conditions that need timely intervention was selected to be evaluated as separate panels. In a systematic literature review, PubMed was quarried for each panel for studies comparing the incidence of various medical emergencies before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Markers of failure/disruption of treatment due to delayed referral were included in the meta-analysis for each panel. RESULT: There was a statistically significant increased pooled median time of symptom onset to admission of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients; an increased rate of vasospasm of aneurismal subarachnoid hemorrhage; and perforation rate in acute appendicitis; diabetic ketoacidosis presentation rate among Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus patients; and rate of orchiectomy among testicular torsion patients in comparison of pre-COVID-19 with COVID-19 cohorts; while there were no significant changes in the event rate of ruptured ectopic pregnancy and median time of symptom onset to admission in the cerebrovascular accident (CVA) patients. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has largely disrupted the referral of patients for emergency medical care and patient-related delayed care should be addressed as a major health threat.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Emergencies , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Healthc Qual Res ; 2022 Jun 08.
Article in Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882204

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 pneumonia is a manifestation of SARS-CoV-2 infection and in most cases involves hospital admission. There are recommendations according to which these patients can be discharged without hospital admission, but there is no evidence regarding the revisit and the most appropriate type of follow-up. The objective of the RESALSEVID study was to investigate the variables associated with the 30-day revisit (Rev30d) in a group of patients discharged directly from 4 emergency departments (ED) with COVID-19 pneumonia, and analyze whether there were differences based on 4 different tracking devices. METHOD: Analysis of a prospective cohort of patients discharged directly from the ED with COVID-19 pneumonia in 4 hospital with different models of follow-up at discharge (primary care, hospitalization at home [HaH] phone and in person, HaH phone, hospital phone). RESULTS: Five hundred twenty patients were included, with a mean age of 50.1 years and 51% men. Rev30d was 18.3% and was related only to immunosuppression, odds ratio 4.49 (95% confidence interval 1.10-18.24); p=0.022. There was no difference in Rev30d based on the follow-up model used at discharge from the ED. CONCLUSIONS: There are some recommendations that allow the safe discharge of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, with no differences in Rev30d depending on the type of follow-up.

5.
J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open ; 3(3): e12621, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1881406

ABSTRACT

Objective: During the winter, many patients present with suspected infection that could be a viral or a bacterial (co)infection. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the optimal use of procalcitonin (PCT) is different in patients with and without proven viral infections for the purpose of excluding bacteremia. We hypothesize that when a viral infection is confirmed, this lowers the probability of bacteremia and, therefore, influences the appropriate cutoff of procalcitonin. Methods: This study was conducted in the emergency department of an academic medical center in The Netherlands in the winter seasons of 2019 and 2020. Adults (>18 years) with suspected infection, in whom a blood culture and a rapid polymerase chain reaction test for influenza was performed were included. Results: A total of 546 patients were included of whom 47 (8.6%) had a positive blood culture. PCT had an area under the curve of 0.85, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.80-0.91, for prediction of bacteremia. In patients with a proven viral infection (N = 212) PCT < 0.5 µg/L had a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI 63.1-100) and specificity of 81.2% (95% CI 75.1-86.3) to exclude bacteremia. In patients without a viral infection, the procalcitonin cutoff point of < 0.25 µg/L showed a sensitivity of 87.2% (95% CI 72.6-95.7) and specificity of 64.1 % (95% CI 58.3-69.6). Conclusion: In patients with a viral infection, our findings suggest that a PCT concentration of <0.50 µg/L makes bacteremia unlikely. However, this finding needs to be confirmed in a larger population of patients with viral infections, especially because the rate of coinfection in our cohort was low.

6.
Lijecnicki Vjesnik ; 144:123-127, 2022.
Article in Croatian | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1879780

ABSTRACT

Aim:To define the effect of the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic on pediatric emergency departments. Materials and methods: The search od PubMed and Web of Science databases was done with predefined parameters. A review of published literature concerning the characteristics and number of visits to pediatric emergency departments globally during the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic was performed. Results: Out of 176 original scientific reports, 25 made the inclusion criteria of this review. 18 countries were included with Canada, USA and Italy producing the most eligible reports (n=3). All the studies compared the pandemic to pre-pandemic data, and all showed a significant reduction in number of visits to the pediatric emergency departments. The number of hospitalizations mostly correlated with the decrease in number of visits. The reduction in number of visits in all studies was due to infectious diseases. There was no notable increase in life-threatening conditions. Conclusions: COVID-19 pandemic directly contributed to the significant reduction in number of visits to the pediatric emergency departments across the world. The general reduction in visits was mostly due to reduction in infectious diseases. Main theorized reasons are increased hygiene, reduced population mobility and fear of catching COVID-19. © 2022 Hrvatski Lijecnicki Zbor. All rights reserved.

7.
BMC Psychiatry ; 22(1): 384, 2022 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879230

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic significantly affected emergency department (ED) visits and urgent psychiatric consultation (UPC) seeking behavior in EDs. Our study explored the changes in UPCs during and after the pandemic peak. METHODS: This retrospective observational study evaluated UPCs in the ED of a referral medical center in Taiwan, where treated both physical and psychiatric complaints. We defined the COVID-19 pandemic peak period as calendar week 4-18, 2020. The corresponding baseline as calendar week 4-18, 2019, and the slack period as week 4-18, 2021. The total number of UPCs, patient demographic data such as sex and age of the patients seen, the referral system (whether police or emergency medical service [EMS] or other sources), and the chief complaint (self-harm or violence) were recorded. RESULTS: Compared with the baseline period, a significant decline in UPCs was observed in the pandemic peak period, and a rebound was observed in the slack period, with the median [IQR] Q1, Q3 values of 22 [18, 26], 12 [10, 17]), and 16 [15, 23], respectively. We observed significantly few men (34.9% vs 45.2%) and less violence (10.2% vs 17.6%) in the peak period compared with in the baseline period, but no significant difference was found compared with the slack period. Throughout the pandemic, younger patients (41.8 ± 17.4 in 2019, 39.2 ± 18.5 [p = 0.121] in 2020, and 35.6 ± 17.2 [p < 0.001] in 2021), higher proportions of police/EMS referral (38.7% in 2019, 41.9% [p = 0.473] in 2020, and 51.9% [p = 0.001] in 2021) and self-harm-related complaints (57% in 2019, 62.4% [p = 0.233] in 2020, and 64.9% [p = 0.049] in 2021) was noted among UPC seekers during the pandemic. However, the proportion of violence-related UPCs (17.6% in 2019, 10.2% [p = 0.023] in 2020, and 12.3% [p = 0.072] in 2021) declined. CONCLUSIONS: This study found that UPCs changed throughout the pandemic. This result raises the concern that mental health needs are masked during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Self-Injurious Behavior , COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , Self-Injurious Behavior/epidemiology , Violence
8.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 46(3): 401-406, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878979

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In this paper, we describe the design and baseline data of a study aimed at improving injury surveillance data quality of hospitals contributing to the Victorian Emergency Minimum Dataset (VEMD). METHODS: The sequential study phases include a baseline analysis of data quality, direct engagement and communication with each of the emergency department (ED) hospital sites, collection of survey and interview data and ongoing monitoring. RESULTS: In 2019/20, there were 371,683 injury-related ED presentations recorded in the VEMD. Percentage unspecified, the indicator of (poor) data quality, was lowest for 'body region' (2.7%) and 'injury type' (7.4%), and highest for 'activity when injured' (29.4%). In the latter, contributing hospitals ranged from 3.0-99.9% unspecified. The 'description of event' variable had a mean word count of 10; 16/38 hospitals had a narrative word count of <5. CONCLUSIONS: Baseline hospital injury surveillance data vary vastly in data quality, leaving much room for improvement and justifying intervention as described. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: Hospital engagement and feedback described in this study is expected to have a marked effect on data quality from 2021 onwards. This will ensure that Victorian injury surveillance data can fulfil their purpose to accurately inform injury prevention policy and practice.


Subject(s)
Emergency Service, Hospital , Hospitals , Data Accuracy , Data Collection , Humans
9.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-11, 2022 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1878452

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency department (ED) admissions for urgent diagnoses. METHODS: From the 1st of January 2019 until the 31st of December 2020, patients older than 18 years old who attended the ED at University Hospital of Leuven (UZ Leuven, Belgium) were included. Urgent diagnoses selected in the First Hour Quintet were collected. The periods of the pandemic waves in 2020 were analyzed and compared with the same time period in 2019. RESULTS: During the first wave of the pandemic, 16 075 patients attended the ED compared with 16 893 patients during the comparison period in 2019. The proportion of patients having one of the diagnoses of the First Hour Quintet was similar between the periods (4,4% versus 4,5 %). During the second wave, 14 739 patients attended the ED compared with 18 704 patients during the same period in 2019. 5,6% of patients had a diagnosis of the First Hour Quintet compared with 4,3% of patients in the comparison period. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a decrease in number of patients attending the ED during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further studies are needed to determine for which conditions patients visited the ED less.

10.
Ultrasound J ; 14(1): 21, 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1875024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Lung Ultrasound Score (LUS) identifies and monitors pneumonia by assigning increasing scores. However, it does not include parameters, such as inferior vena cava (IVC) diameter and index of collapse, diaphragmatic excursions and search for pleural and pericardial effusions. Therefore, we propose a new improved scoring system, termed "integrated" lung ultrasound score (i-LUS) which incorporates previously mentioned parameters that can help in prediction of disease severity and survival, choice of oxygenation mode/ventilation and assignment to subsequent areas of care in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: Upon admission at the sub-intensive section of the emergency medical department (SEMD), 143 consecutively examined COVID-19 patients underwent i-LUS together with all other routine analysis. A database for anamnestic information, laboratory data, gas analysis and i-LUS parameters was created and analyzed. RESULTS: Of 143 enrolled patients, 59.4% were male (mean age 71 years) and 40.6% female. (mean age 79 years: p = 0.005). Patients that survived at 1 month had i-LUS score of 16, which was lower than that of non-survivors (median 20; p = 0.005). Survivors had a higher PaO2/FiO2 (median 321.5) compared to non-survivors (median 229, p < 0.001). There was a correlation between i-LUS and PaO2/FiO2 ratio (rho:-0.4452; p < 0.001), PaO2/FiO2 and survival status (rho:-0.3452; p < 0.001), as well as i-LUS score and disease outcome (rho:0.24; p = 0.005). In non-survivors, the serum values of different significant COVID indicators were severely expressed. The i-LUS score was higher (median 20) in patients who required non-invasive ventilation (NIV) than in those treated only by oxygen therapy (median 15.42; p = 0.003). The odds ratio for death outcome was 1.08 (confidence interval 1.02-1.15) for each point increased. At 1-month follow-up, 65 patients (45.5%) died and 78 (54.5%) survived. Patients admitted to the high critical ward had higher i-LUS score than those admitted to the low critical one (p < 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: i-LUS could be used as a helpful clinical tool for early decision-making in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

11.
Omega (Westport) ; : 302228221106286, 2022 Jun 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1874955

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus infection 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected on mental health and contributed to increased depression and anxiety. We assessed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide-related the emergency department (ED) visits. We compared the characteristics of suicide-related patients who visited the ED between the "COVID-19 period" and the "pre-COVID-19 period". The mean age of patients was younger after COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison by age group, the proportion of patients during the COVID-19 period increased in their teens and 20s, and the rest of the age groups decreased. The proportion of patients who requested help was higher during the COVID-19. The authenticity of suicide attempts showed a higher proportion of patients during the pre-COVID-19. Therefore, during the pandemic, attention should be paid to worsening mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, rather than the lethality of suicide attempts.

12.
J Acute Med ; 12(1): 29-33, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1876096

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is an international public health emergency. Early identification of COVID-19 patients with false-negative RT-PCR tests is paramount in the ED to prevent both nosocomial and community transmission. This study aimed to compare clinical characteristics of repeat emergency department (ED) visits among coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with initial false-negative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-based COVID-19 test. Methods: This is a retrospective, multi-center, cohort study conducted at 12 hospitals affiliated with Baylor Scott & White Health system. Patients visiting the EDs of these hospitals between June and August 2020 were screened. Patients tested negative for viral RNA by quantitative RT-PCR in the first ED visit and positive in the second ED visit were included. The primary outcome was the comparison of clinical characteristics between two consecutive ED visits including the clinical symptoms, triage vital signs, laboratory, and chest X-ray (CXR) results. Results: A total of 88 confirmed COVID-19 patients with initial false-negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test in the ED were included in the final analyses. The mean duration of symptoms in the second ED visit was significantly higher (3.6 ± 0.4 vs. 2.6 ± 0.3 days, p = 0.020). In the first ED visit, lymphocytopenia (35.2%), fever (32.6%), nausea (29.5%), and dyspnea (27.9%) are the most common signs of COVID-19 infection during the window period. There were significant increases in the rate of hypoxia (13.6% vs. 4.6%, p = 0.005), abnormal infiltrate on CXR (59.7% vs. 25.9%, p < 0.001), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) elevation (26.1% vs. 9.1%, p < 0.001) in the second ED visit. Conclusions: Early COVID-19 testing (less than 3 days of symptom duration) could be associated with a false-negative result. In this window period, lymphocytopenia, fever, nausea, and dyspnea are the most common early signs that can potentially be clinical hints for COVID-19 diagnosis.

13.
Emergency Medicine Journal ; 39(6):483-484, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1874627

ABSTRACT

Editor’s note: EMJ has partnered with the journals of multiple international emergency medicine societies to share from each a highlighted research study, as selected by their editors. This edition will feature an from each publication.

14.
Healthcare ; 10(5):771, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1871875

ABSTRACT

Background: To predict areas with a high concentration of long-term uninsured (LTU) and Emergency Department (ED) usage by uninsured patients in South Carolina. Methods: American Community Survey data was used to predict the concentration of LTU at the ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) level. In a multivariate regression model, the LTU concentration was then modeled to predict ED visits by uninsured patients. ED data came from the restricted South Carolina Patient Encounter data with patients’ billing zip codes. A simulation was conducted to predict changes in the ED visit numbers and rates by uninsured patients if the LTU concentration was reduced to a lower level. Results: Overall, there was a positive relationship between ED visit rates by the uninsured patients and areas with higher concentrations of LTU. Our simulation model predicted that if the LTU concentration for each ZCTA was reduced to the lowest quintile, the ED visit rates by the uninsured would decrease significantly. The greatest reduction in the number of ED visits by the uninsured over a two-year period was for the following primary diagnoses: abdominal pain (15,751 visits), cellulitis and abscess (11,260 visits) and diseases for the teeth and supporting structures (10,525 visits). Conclusions: The provision of primary healthcare services to the LTU could help cut back inappropriate uses of ED resources and healthcare costs.

15.
Pathogens ; 11(5):559, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1871859

ABSTRACT

Early recognition of sepsis is essential for improving outcomes and preventing complications such as organ failure, depression, and neurocognitive impairment. The emergency department (ED) plays a key role in the early identification of sepsis, but clinicians lack diagnostic tools. Potentially, biomarkers could be helpful in assisting clinicians in the ED, but no marker has yet been successfully implemented in daily practice with good clinical performance. Pancreatic stone protein (PSP) is a promising biomarker in the context of sepsis, but little is known about the diagnostic performance of PSP in the ED. We prospectively investigated the diagnostic value of PSP in such a population for patients suspected of infection. PSP was compared with currently used biomarkers, including white blood cell count (WBC) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Of the 156 patients included in this study, 74 (47.4%) were diagnosed with uncomplicated infection and 26 (16.7%) patients with sepsis, while 56 (35.9%) eventually had no infection. PSP was significantly higher for sepsis patients compared to patients with no sepsis. In multivariate regression, PSP was a significant predictor for sepsis, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.69. Positive and negative predictive values for this model were 100% and 84.4%, respectively. Altogether, these findings show that PSP, measured at the ED of a tertiary hospital, is associated with sepsis but lacks the diagnostic performance to be used as single marker.

16.
Electronic Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine ; 32(1):27-40, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1871851

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic raised major concerns relating to hospital capacity and cross-infection patients and staff in the Emergency Department (ED) of a metropolitan hospital servicing a population of ~500,000. We determined to reduce length of stay and admissions in patients presenting with symptoms of possible myocardial infarction;the most common presentation group. After establishing stakeholder consensus, the existing accelerated diagnostic pathway (ADP) based on the ED Assessment of Chest-pain Score (EDACS), electrocardiogram, and troponin measurements with a high-sensitivity assay (hs-cTn) on presentation and two hours later (EDACS-ADP) was modified to stream patients following an initial troponin measure as follows: (i) to a very-low risk group who could be discharged home without follow-up or further testing, and (ii) to a low-risk group who could be discharged with next-day follow-up community troponin testing. Simulations were run in an extensive research database to determine appropriate hs-cTnI and EDACS thresholds for risk classification. This COVID-ADP was developed in ~2-weeks and was implemented in the ED within a further 3-weeks. A comparison of all chest pain presentations for the 3 months prior to implementation of the COVID-ADP to 3 months following implementation showed that there was a 64.7% increase in patients having only one troponin test in the ED, a 30-minute reduction of mean length of stay of people discharged home from the ED, and a 24.3% reduction in hospital admissions of patients ultimately diagnosed with non-cardiac chest pain. © 2021 International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. All rights reserved.

17.
Healthcare ; 10(5):915, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1870629

ABSTRACT

Metropolitan Haifa, Israel, has three hospitals: Rambam Health Care Campus, Bnai Zion Medical Center, and Carmel Medical Center. In 2007–2014, the length of stay at RHCC’s emergency department increased, while the number of visits decreased. We ask whether the increase in LOS is associated with the falling numbers of visits to other EDs, whether an increase in LOS induces more referrals to competing hospitals in the metropolitan area, and whether it pays to be a crowded ED in mitigating moral hazard. Average LOS at Rambam climbed from 3.5 h in 2000–2007 to 6.4 in 2008–2018. While the number of visits to Rambam decreased significantly, those to Bnai Zion increased significantly and quite linearly. A one-way ANOVA test reveals a statistically significant difference among the three hospitals. In addition, Rambam was significantly different from Carmel but not from Bnai Zion. When LOS stabilized at Rambam from 2016 to 2018 and increased at Bnai Zion, referrals to Rambam went up again. Policymakers should instruct all hospitals to publish LOS data, regulate referrals to EDs, and find an optimal LOS that will reduce competition, non-urgent visits, and moral hazard.

18.
Public Health Rep ; : 333549221091781, 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1868866

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic overburdened the US health care system because of extended and unprecedented patient surges and supply shortages in hospitals. We investigated the extent to which several US hospitals experienced emergency department (ED) and intensive care unit (ICU) overcrowding and ventilator shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We analyzed Health Pulse data to assess the extent to which US hospitals reported alerts when experiencing ED overcrowding, ICU overcrowding, and ventilator shortages from March 7, 2020, through April 30, 2021. RESULTS: Of 625 participating hospitals in 29 states, 393 (63%) reported at least 1 hospital alert during the study period: 246 (63%) reported ED overcrowding, 239 (61%) reported ICU overcrowding, and 48 (12%) reported ventilator shortages. The number of alerts for overcrowding in EDs and ICUs increased as the number of COVID-19 cases surged. CONCLUSIONS: Timely assessment and communication about critical factors such as ED and ICU overcrowding and ventilator shortages during public health emergencies can guide public health response efforts in supporting federal, state, and local public health agencies.

19.
Lancet Reg Health West Pac ; 25: 100486, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867463

ABSTRACT

Background: Early, rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 is essential in healthcare settings in order to implement appropriate infection control precautions and rapidly assign patients to care pathways. Rapid testing methods, such as SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen testing (RAT) may improve patient care, despite a lower sensitivity than real-time PCR (RT-PCR) testing. Methods: Patients presenting to an Emergency Department (ED) in Melbourne, Australia, were risk-stratified for their likelihood of active COVID-19 infection, and a non-randomised cohort of patients were tested by both Abbott Panbio™ COVID-19 Ag test (RAT) and SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR. Patients with a positive RAT in the 'At or High Risk' COVID-19 group were moved immediately to a COVID-19 ward rather than waiting for a RT-PCR result. Clinical and laboratory data were assessed to determine test performance characteristics; and length of stay in the ED was compared for the different patient cohorts. Findings: Analysis of 1762 paired RAT/RT-PCR samples demonstrated an overall sensitivity of 75.5% (206/273; 95% CI: 69·9-80·4) for the Abbott Panbio™ COVID-12 Ag test, with specificity of 100% (1489/1489; 95% CI: 99·8-100). Sensitivity improved with increasing risk for COVID-19 infection, from 72·4% (95% CI: 52·8-87·3) in the 'No Risk' cohort to 100% (95% CI: 29·2-100) in the 'High Risk' group. Time in the ED for the 'At/High Risk' group decreased from 421 minutes (IQR: 281, 525) for those with a positive RAT result to 274 minutes (IQR:140, 425) for those with a negative RAT result, p = 0.02. Interpretation: The positive predictive value of a positive RAT in this setting was high, allowing more rapid instigation of COVID-19 care pathways and an improvement in patient flow within the ED. Funding: Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

20.
Am J Emerg Med ; 58: 100-105, 2022 May 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866782

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic situation is a state that has had a great impact on the medical system and society. To respond to the pandemic situation, various methods, such as a pre-triage system, are being implemented in the emergency medical field. However, there are insufficient studies on the effects of this pandemic situation on patients visiting the emergency department (ED), especially those with cardio/cerebrovascular diseases (CVD)1 classified as time-dependent emergencies. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of a cohort of patients from April 2020 to December 2020 (April 2020 was when the pre-triage system was established) compared to a parallel comparison patient cohort from 2019. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. CVD was defined by the patient's final diagnosis. RESULTS: During the same period, the number of patients who had visited the ED after COVID-19 had decreased to 79.1% of the number of patients who had visited the ED before COVID-19. The overall patient mortality and the mortality in the patients cardiovascular disease had both increased, while the mortality from cerebrovascular disease did not increase. Meanwhile, the ED length of stay had increased in all patients but did not increase in the patients with cardiovascular disease. CONCLUSION: As with prior studies conducted in other regions, in our study, the total number of ED visits were decreased compared to before COVID-19. The overall mortality had increased, particularly in the patients with cardiovascular disease.

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