Selecting coronavirus disease 2019 patients with negligible risk of progression: early experience from non-hospital isolation facility in Korea.
Korean J Intern Med. 2020 May 29;:
Authors: Choe PG, Kang EK, Lee SY, Oh B, Im D, Lee HY, Jung H, Kang CK, Kim MS, Park WB, Choi EH, Cho B, Oh MD, Kim NJ
Background/Aims: As the novel coronavirus (coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19]) outbreak progresses rapidly, staying home is recommended for suspected patients; however, the safety of this recommendation is uncertain. In Korea, non-hospital facilities called "living and treatment centers (LTCs)" have been established since 5 March 2020. The LTCs provided a unique opportunity to evaluate the safety of selection criteria for low-risk groups.
Methods: Between 5 March and 9 April 2020, patients with COVID-19 who met the following criteria were admitted to the LTC; alert, age below 65 years old, no underlying disease or well-controlled underlying disease, body temperature below 38.0°C, whether taking antipyretics or not, and no dyspnea. Patients were closely observed by doctors or nurses' interviews twice a day and transferred to hospitals when symptoms worsened.
Results: A total of 113 patients were admitted to the LTC; 52.2% were female, with a median age of 25 years (interquartile range, 21.5 to 39.5). Of 113 patients, 54 (47.8%) were asymptomatic at diagnosis, and 15 (13.3%) had no symptoms until they were released from isolation. During the follow-up period, two (1.8%) patients were transferred to a hospital but did not progress to severe status during hospitalization.
Conclusions: The risk of progression was negligible in COVID-19 patients who met the admission criteria for LTC at the time of diagnosis. LTCs could be a safe alternative considering shortage of hospital beds.
PMID: 32460457 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]