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Outcomes for emergency department patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19: An analysis of the Australian experience in 2020 (COVED-5)
Objective: The aim of the present study was to describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients presenting to Australian EDs with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 during 2020, and to determine the predictors of in-hospital death for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients.
Methods: This analysis from the COVED Project presents data from 12 sites across four Australian states for the period from 1 April to 30 November 2020. All adult patients who met local criteria for suspected COVID-19 and underwent testing for SARS-CoV-2 in the ED were eligible for inclusion. Study outcomes were mechanical ventilation and in-hospital mortality.
Results: Among 24 405 eligible ED presentations over the whole study period, 423 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. During the 'second wave' from 1 July to 30 September 2020, 26 (6%) of 406 SARS-CoV-2 patients received invasive mechanical ventilation, compared to 175 (2%) of the 9024 SARS-CoV-2 negative patients (odds ratio [OR] 3.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.3-5.2, P < 0.001), and 41 (10%) SARS-CoV-2 positive patients died in hospital compared to 312 (3%) SARS-CoV-2 negative patients (OR 3.2; 95% CI 2.2-4.4, P = 0.001). For SARS-CoV-2 positive patients, the strongest independent predictors of hospital death were age (OR 1.1; 95% CI 1.1-1.1, P < 0.001), higher triage category (OR 3.5; 95% CI 1.3-9.4, P = 0.012), obesity (OR 4.2; 95% CI 1.2-14.3, P = 0.024) and receiving immunosuppressive treatment (OR 8.2; 95% CI 1.8-36.7, P = 0.006).
Conclusions: ED patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 had higher odds of mechanical ventilation and death in hospital. The strongest predictors of death were age, a higher triage category, obesity and receiving immunosuppressive treatment.
Publication titleEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Department/SchoolTasmanian School of Medicine
Place of publicationAustralia
Rights statement© 2021 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.