Tag Archives: COVID-19

Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of Covid-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Patients Requiring Invasive Mechanical Ventilation in a Lower Middle-Income Country

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0044

Background: Covid-19 related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requires intensive care, which is highly expensive in lower-income countries. Outcomes of Covid-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation in Pakistan have not been widely reported. Identifying factors forecasting outcomes will help decide optimal care levels and prioritise resources.
Methods: A single-centre, retrospective study on Covid-19 patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation was conducted from 1st March to 31st May 2020. Demographic variables, physical signs, laboratory values, ventilator parameters, complications, length of stay, and mortality were recorded. Data were analysed in SPSS ver.23.
Results: Among 71 study patients, 87.3% (62) were males, and 12.7% (9) were females with a mean (SD) age of 55.5(13.4) years. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension were the most common comorbidities in 54.9% (39) patients. Median(IQR) SOFA score on ICU admission and at 48 hours was 7(5-9) and 6(4-10), and median (IQR) APACHE-II score was 15 (11-24) and 13(9-23), respectively. Overall, in-hospital mortality was 57.7%; 25% (1/4), 55.6% (20/36) and 64.5% (20/31) in mild, moderate, and severe ARDS, respectively. On univariate analysis; PEEP at admission, APACHE II and SOFA score at admission and 48 hours; Acute kidney injury; D-Dimer>1.5 mg/L and higher LDH levels at 48 hours were significantly associated with mortality. Only APACHE II scores at admission and D-Dimer levels> 1.5 mg/L were independent predictors of mortality on multivariable regression (p-value 0.012 & 0.037 respectively). Admission APACHE II scores, Area under the ROC curve for mortality was 0.80 (95%CI 0.69-0.90); sensitivity was 77.5% and specificity 70% (cut-off ≥13.5).
Conclusion: There was a high mortality rate in severe ARDS. The APACHE II score can be utilised in mortality prediction in Covid-19 ARDS patients. However, larger-scale studies in Pakistan are required to assess predictors of mortality.

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COVID-19 Infection or Buttock Injections? The Dangers of Aesthetics and Socializing During a Pandemic

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0043

Introduction: Silicone (polydimethylsiloxane) injections are used for cosmetic augmentation. Their use is associated with life-threatening complications such as acute pneumonitis, alveolar hemorrhage, and acute respiratory distress among others [1,2]. We report a case of a Hispanic woman who developed severe respiratory distress syndrome after gluteal silicone injections.
Case Presentation: A 44-year-old Hispanic female presented to the Emergency Department complaining of progressive dyspnea on exertion for two weeks. Chest imaging revealed patchy bibasilar airspace opacities of peripheral distribution. Labs were significant for leukocytosis, elevated PT, D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase, and fibrinogen, concerning for COVID-19, however SARS-CoV-2 testing was negative multiple times. The patient later became encephalopathic, hypoxemic, and eventually required intubation. Further history uncovered that the patient had received illicit gluteal silicone injections a few days prior to her onset of symptoms. The patient was diagnosed with silicone embolism syndrome (SES) and initiated on high dose intravenous methylprednisolone [1].
Case Discussion: Patients from lower socioeconomic backgrounds utilize illicit services to receive silicone injections at minimal costs. This leads to dangerous outcomes. The serology and imaging findings observed in our case have similarities to the typical presentation of COVID-19 pneumonia making the initial diagnosis difficult. This case serves as a cautionary tale of the importance of thorough history taking in patients with concern for COVID-19.

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The Predictive Potential of Elevated Serum Inflammatory Markers in Determining the Need for Intubation in CoVID-19 Patients

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0035

Introduction: The predictive potential of demographics, clinical characteristics, and inflammatory markers at admission to determine future intubation needs of hospitalised CoVID-19 patients is unknown. The study aimed to determine the predictive potential of elevated serum inflammatory markers in determining the need for intubation in CoVID-19 Patients.
Methods: In a retrospective cohort study of hospitalised SARS-CoV2 positive patients, single and multivariable regression analyses were used to determine covariate effects on intubation odds, and a minimax concave penalty regularised logistic regression was used to build a predictive model. A second prospective independent cohort tested the model.
Results: Systemic inflammatory markers obtained at admission were higher in patients that required subsequent intubation, and adjusted odds of intubation increased for every standard deviation above the mean for c-reactive protein (CRP) OR:2.8 (95% CI 1.8-4.5, p<0.001) and lactate dehydrogenase OR:2.1 (95% CI 1.3-3.3, p=0.002). A predictive model incorporating C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, and diabetes status at the time of admission predicted intubation status with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.78 with corresponding sensitivity of 86%, specificity of 63%. This predictive model achieved an AUC of 0.83, 91% sensitivity, and 41% specificity on the validation cohort.
Conclusion: In patients hospitalised with CoVID-19, elevated serum inflammatory markers measured within the first twenty-four hours of admission are associated with an increased need for intubation. Additionally, a model of C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, and the presence of diabetes may play a predictive role in determining the future need for intubation.

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Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Patients with Severe COVID-19 Infection at Intensive Care Unit – A Cross-Sectional Study

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0033

In adults with severe hypoxemia, inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) is known to reduce pulmonary shunt and pulmonary hypertension, improving V/Q matching [1]. Studies in refractory hypoxemia among patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) suggest that iNO may be allied to other ventilatory strategies as a bridge to clinical improvement [2, 3].
A trial from the 2004 Beijing Coronavirus Outbreak showed that low dose iNO could shorten the time of ventilatory support [4]. Additionally, preclinical studies suggest an inhibitory effect of iNO on viral replication [5]. To date, the role of iNO in COVID19 infection is still unclear. [More]

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The Pathophysiology and Management of Diabetic Ketoacidosis in COVID-19 Patients: A Literature Review

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0024

Diabetic individuals are considered a vulnerable population during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and several studies noted worse outcomes, including death, among those who get infected. Diabetic emergencies, such as ketoacidosis (DKA), are common and potentially life-threatening conditions in uncontrolled patients. While the pathophysiological background of the relationship between COVID-19 and DKA is not fully understood, early reports available so far indicate that patients with pre-existing diabetes who get infected with the SARS-CoV 2 virus are at higher risk of DKA. It was also suggested that DKA is a poor prognostic sign for infected patients, these being at higher risk of developing worse forms of COVID-19 disease and having high mortality. Therefore, healthcare personnel dealing with such patients face a considerable challenge, as the correct and safe emergency management of such cases is far from established. This article aimed to conduct a study that reviews the current published data available about patients with DKA and COVID-19.

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Impact of the Severity of Liver Injury in COVID-19 Patients Admitted to an Intensive Care Unit During the SARS-CoV2 Pandemic Outbreak

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0021

Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) identified a novel coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, as a pneumonia causing pathogen. Epidemiological data in Romania show more than 450.000 confirmed patients, with a constant number of approximately 10% admission in intensive care unit.
Method: A retrospective, observational study was conducted from 1st March to 30th October 2020, comprising 657 patients, confirmed as having COVID-19, and who had been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Mures County Clinical Hospital, Tîrgu Mures, Romania, which had been designated as a support hospital during the pandemic. Patients who presented at admission or developed abnormal liver function tests in the first seven days of admission, were included in the study; patients with pre-existing liver disease, were excluded.
Results: The mean (SD) age of patients included in the study was 59.41 (14.66) years with a male: female ratio of 1.51:1. Survivor status, defined as patients discharged from the intensive care unit, was significantly associated with parameters such as age, leukocyte count, albumin level, glycaemia level (p<0.05 for all parameters.)
Conclusions: Liver injury expressed through liver function tests cannot solely constitute a prognostic factor for COVID-19 patients, but its presence in critically ill patients should be further investigated and included in future guideline protocols.

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The Use of Hydroxyurea in the Treatment of COVID-19

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0019

Introduction: The rapid worldwide spread of COVID-19 motivated medical professionals to pursue and authenticate appropriate remedies and treatment protocols. This article aims to analyze the potential benefits of one treatment protocol developed by a group of care providers caring for severe COVID-19 patients.
Methods: The clinical findings of COVID-19 patients who were transferred to a specialized care hospital after unsuccessful treatment in previous institutions, were analyzed. The specialized care hospital used a treatment protocol including hydroxyurea, a medication commonly used for sickle cell treatment, to improve respiratory distress in the COVID-19 patients. None of the COVID-19 patients included in the analyzed data were diagnosed with sickle cell, and none had previously taken hydroxyurea for any other conditions.
Results: In all presented cases, patients reverted to their baseline respiratory health after treatment with the hydroxyurea protocol. There was no significant difference in the correlation between COVID-19 and hydroxyurea. However, deaths were extremely low for those taking hydroxyurea.
Conclusions: Fatality numbers were extremely low for those taking hydroxyurea; death could be attributed to other underlying issues.

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Critical Care Workers Have Lower Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG Compared with Non-patient Facing Staff in First Wave of COVID19

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0018

Introduction: In early 2020, at first surge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many health care workers (HCW) were re-deployed to critical care environments to support intensive care teams looking after patients with severe COVID-19. There was considerable anxiety of increased risk of COVID-19 for these staff. To determine whether critical care HCW were at increased risk of hospital acquired infection, we explored the relationship between workplace, patient facing role and evidence of immune exposure to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) within a quaternary hospital providing a regional critical care response. Routine viral surveillance was not available at this time.
Methods: We screened over 500 HCW (25% of the total workforce) for history of clinical symptoms of possible COVID19, assigning a symptom severity score, and quantified SARS-CoV-2 serum antibodies as evidence of immune exposure to the virus.
Results: Whilst 45% of the cohort reported symptoms that they consider may have represented COVID-19, 14% had evidence of immune exposure. Staffs in patient facing critical care roles were least likely to be seropositive (9%) and staff working in non-patient facing roles most likely to be seropositive (22%). Anosmia and fever were the most discriminating symptoms for seropositive status. Older males presented with more severe symptoms. Of the 12 staff screened positive by nasal swab (10 symptomatic), 3 showed no evidence of seroconversion in convalescence.
Conclusions: Patient facing staff working in critical care do not appear to be at increased risk of hospital acquired infection however the risk of nosocomial infection from non-patient facing staff may be more significant than previous recognised. Most symptoms ascribed to possible COVID-19 were found to have no evidence of immune exposure however seroprevalence may underrepresent infection frequency. Older male staff were at the greatest risk of more severe symptoms.

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COVID -19 complicated by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Myocarditis, and Pulmonary Embolism. A case report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0041

A 49-year-old female Qatari woman, with no past medical history, presented at a hospital complaining of a history of cough and shortness of breath. The patient tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS) and COVID-19. Subsequently, her course of treatment was complicated by severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary embolism and severe myocarditis requiring treatment with venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to complete recovery.

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Challenges in Management of the Brain-Dead Organ Donor During the COVID-19 Pandemic

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2021-0013

Starting in Wuhan, China [1], the infection caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus became a public health issue when, due to the extreme contagiousness of this virus, a pandemic has been declared [2], putting a strain on both the global medical staff as well as the authorities in an effort to better manage an unprecedented situation in the modern era. Looking at the society we are living in, we can easily see that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought impressive social, economic, political, cultural and medical changes as well as personal ones; I believe that the perspectives and priorities of many of us have changed.
Before discussing the transplant activity, mainly the one regarding diagnosis and maintenance of the brain-dead organ donor patient, an activity that has been carried out for many years in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Clinics, to which many of us are devoted, practicing it with deep respect, we need to review the daily activity. As is well known, the work effort in intensive care units is extremely demanding both mentally and physically. It involves the care of critical patients with severe decompensated pathologies, requiring maximum therapeutic management, special attention, continuous specific monitoring as well as the use of advanced medical and pharmacological techniques. The new measures and regulations, personal protective equipment, structural changes and working protocols implemented to prevent and limit COVID-19 infection, as well as the rigors imposed by the care of these patients have created additional stress for the medical staff. [More]

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