Clinical Characteristics and Outcome of Patients With Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia at a Public Sector Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Baqi S, Naz A, Sayeed MA, Khan S, Ismail H, Kumar V, Somjimal H, Aneela J, Imtiaz S, Aftab S.
Cureus. 2021; 13(2): e13107


INTRODUCTION: In Pakistan, the first case of COVID-19 was reported in February of 2020, cases peaked in June, and by January 2021, approximately 500,000 confirmed cases and over 10,000 deaths have been reported. There is a lack of data in Pakistan of the demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcome of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, particularly those with severe illness, which we aim to assess. METHODS: This is a single-centered, observational study conducted at the COVID unit of the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Institute of Trauma in Karachi, Pakistan. A manual medical record review of patients admitted from April 24, 2020 to August 24, 2020 was conducted, and all patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) with moderate, severe, and critical COVID-19 pneumonia were included. RESULTS: Of 299 patients, the median age was 60 years (50-65). Males accounted for 221 (73.9%). Most common symptoms were shortness of breath seen in 270 (90.3%) and fever in 225 (75.3%) patients. Diabetes mellitus (51.2%) and hypertension (50.3%) were the predominant co-morbidities. COVID disease was categorized on admission as moderate in 68 (22.7%), severe in 151 (50.5%), and critical in 80 (26.8%) patients. Survival analysis was done in 252 patients, all of whom received steroids, while tocilizumab was administered to 111 (44%) patients. Hundred (39.7%) patients received non-invasive ventilation (NIV), while 57 (22.6%) were placed on mechanical ventilation. Overall, 95 (37.7%) patients died. Factors associated with mortality included older age with those above 60 years more likely to die (odds ratio [OR]: 1.925; 95% CI: 1.148-3.228; pvalue: 0.009), presence of co-morbidities (OR 1.843; 95% CI: 0.983-3.456; p value: 0.070), development of cytokine release syndrome (CRS) (73 [56.2%] vs 57 [43.8%], p value: <0.001), acute kidney injury (31 [81.6%] vs 7 [18.4%], p value: <0.001), cardiac complications (12 [75%] vs 4 [25%], p value: 0.002), and sepsis (29 [87.9%] vs 4 [12.1%], p value: <0.001). Non-survivors were more likely to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), having been placed on NIV and mechanical ventilation. Laboratory parameters at final outcome found that in non-survivors, median total leukocyte count, C-reactive protein (CRP), neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were higher, while absolute lymphocyte count and platelet counts were lower which were found to be statistically significant compared to survivors. CONCLUSION: In this study of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia at a public sector hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, most were males, and the average age was 60 years. Mortality was high, and associated factors included older age, presence of comorbid conditions, and the development of ARDS, CRS, and sepsis. CI - Copyright (c) 2021, Baqi et al.





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