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ICUs seeing improved survival from virus

Thursday July 16th 2020

Intensive care units successfully cut mortality from the COVID-19 virus in the early stages of the virus, according to a major new analysis published today.

Researchers found that mortality rates fell from nearly 60% in March to 42% by the end of May.

Improved care techniques rapidly spread internationally, according to the analysis published in Anaesthesia. It finds that ICU mortality has been very similar across Europe, Asia and North America.

Researchers at Bristol University and the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Trust analysed 24 studies from across the three continents, involving more than 10,000 patients.

Professor Tim Cook, one of the researchers, said mortality rates remained twice as high as that from other kinds of viral pneumonia, which about 20% of patients fail to survive.

Professor Cook said: “The important message is that as the pandemic has progressed and various factors combine, survival of patients admitted to ICU has significantly improved. There were no significant effects of geographical location, but reported ICU mortality fell over time.

"Optimistically, as the pandemic progresses, we may be coping better with COVID-19.

He added: “It may reflect the rapid learning that has taken place on a global scale due to the prompt publication of clinical reports early in the pandemic. It may also be that ICU admission criteria have changed over time, for example, with greater pressure on ICUs early in the pandemic surge.”

Outcomes from intensive care in patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Anaesthesia 16 July 2020

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/anae.15201

Tags: Asia | Flu & Viruses | North America | UK News

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