BackgroundCharacteristics of critically ill adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in an academic safety net hospital and the effect of evidence-based practices in these patients are unknown.
Research questionWhat are the outcomes of critically ill adults with COVID-19 admitted to a network of hospitals in New Orleans, Louisiana, and what is an evidence-based protocol for care associated with improved outcomes?
Study design and methodsIn this multi-center, retrospective, observational cohort study of ICUs in four hospitals in New Orleans, Louisiana, we collected data on adults admitted to an ICU and tested for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) between March 9, 2020 and April 14, 2020. The exposure of interest was admission to an ICU that implemented an evidence-based protocol for COVID-19 care. The primary outcome was ventilator-free days.
ResultsThe initial 147 patients admitted to any ICU and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 constituted the cohort for this study. In the entire network, exposure to an evidence-based protocol was associated with more ventilator-free days (25 days; 0-28) compared with non-protocolized ICUs (0 days; 0-23, P = .005), including in adjusted analyses (P = .02). Twenty patients (37%) admitted to protocolized ICUs died compared with 51 (56%; P = .02) in non-protocolized ICUs. Among 82 patients admitted to the academic safety net hospital's ICUs, the median number of ventilator-free days was 22 (interquartile range, 0-27) and mortality rate was 39%.
InterpretationCare of critically ill COVID-19 patients with an evidence-based protocol is associated with increased time alive and free of invasive mechanical ventilation. In-hospital survival occurred in most critically ill adults with COVID-19 admitted to an academic safety net hospital's ICUs despite a high rate of comorbidities.
SUBMITTER: Janz DR