Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) appeared just over 7 months ago in Wuhan, China. Early reports indicated that although some cases are asymptomatic, 20% of COVID-19 cases follow a severe course, necessitating hospitalization, with a quarter of hospitalized patients requiring intensive care unit (ICU) facilities. Later reports substantiated these data, although ICU admission rates, proportion of patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), and mortality rates differ considerably between studies.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a frequent and life-threatening complication in COVID19. Patients with moderate-to severe ARDS require invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and have a poor prognosis.
APEPTICO’s global survey resulted that among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, approximately 1/3 (33%) develop ARDS, 1/4 (26%) require transfer to an ICU, 1/6 (16%) receive IMV, and 1/6 (16%) die. For COVID-19 patients transferred to an ICU, nearly 2/3 (63%) receive IMV and 3/4 (75%) have ARDS. The mortality rate of ICU COVID-19 patients is 40% and of those who receive IMV 59%; the mortality rate in COVID-19-associated ARDS is 45%, and the incidence of ARDS among non-survivors of COVID-19 is 90%, despite increasing use of anti-viral therapies
Commenting on the most recent study, Bernhard Fischer, CEO of APEPTICO, stated: "The implications of our survey results are important and demonstrate the considerable challenges posed by the “COVID19 crisis” to ICU practitioners, hospital administrators, and health policy makers. Based on the knowledge of new corona virus infection rates and on our global data, precise prognosis can be made in particular for the medical staffing and adequate configuration of ICUs including life support equipment.”
This study received funding support from the European Commission (EC), Grant No. 101003595 and from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), Grant No.880862.
Citation: Tzotzos et al. Critical Care (2020) 24:516 https://ccforum.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13054-020-03240-7