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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 127-135

Determinants of intensive care unit admission of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Saudi Arabia: An analytic retrospective cohort


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 University of Tabuk, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
3 King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University For Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sulafa Alqutub
Hamza Ibn AlQasim, AlSharafeyah, Jeddah 23218
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmbs.ijmbs_48_21

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Background: In March 2020, Saudi Arabia (KSA) experienced a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The mitigation strategy aimed to reduce both the impact on vulnerable groups and the risk of admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Risk factors, such as sequential organ failure, comorbidities, ventilation, and mortality, have not been described in different settings of care. Materials and Methods: A multicenter, retrospective chart review of 220 adults with COVID-19 admitted to the ICU included demographics and ICU admission factors (e.g., quick sequential organ failure assessment (qSOFA) score, ventilator status, comorbidities, days from laboratory confirmation to ICU admission, and days from hospitalization to ICU admission). Regression was utilized to identify predictors of need for mechanical ventilation (MV) and mortality in ICU patients. Results: ICU admission, COVID-19 hospital mortality, and ventilator-associated mortality rates were 26.5%, 44%, and 30.5%, respectively. The mean patients' age was 30 years. Across four cities, Jeddah patients were at the highest risk of MV (<0.001). Within the 1st day of hospitalization, without lymphocytopenia, non-Saudi patients with a qSOFA score of 2 and 3 were at the highest risk of ventilation (odds ratio [OR], 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.72–8.66; OR, 11.4; 95% CI, 2.35–55.47; and OR, 6.1; 95% CI, 1.0–37.33, respectively). Moreover, within the same period of hospital stay, mechanically-ventilated patients with a qSOFA score of 3 who received antiviral medications were significantly at the higher risk of death (OR, 2.8.4; 95% CI, 1.44–5.64; OR, 13.1; 95% CI, 1.23–39.68; and OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.14–4.14, respectively). Conclusions: The 1st day of hospitalization, along with an assessment of the dyspnea status using the qSOFA score, is the window of opportunity for minimizing ICU admission risk. Neither lymphocytopenia nor comorbidities are associated with the risk of mechanical ventilation. Factors were also discussed. Reviews are needed on the indications for the use of antiviral agents, intubation, and ventilation in hospitalized patients.


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