Sun YJ, et al. Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2020.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread over 213 countries and territories. We sought to describe the clinical features of fatalities in patients with severe COVID-19 in an internet-based retrospective cohort study through retrieving the clinical information of 100 COVID-19 deaths from non-duplicating incidental reports in Chinese provincial and other governmental websites between January 23 and March 10, 2020. About 6 of 10 COVID-19 deaths were males (64.0%). The average age was 70.7±13.5 years, and 84% of patients were elderly (over age 60 y). The mean duration from admission to diagnosis was 2.2±3.8 days (median: 1). The mean duration from diagnosis to death was 9.9±7.0 days (median: 9). About 3 of 4 cases (76.0%) were complicated by 1 or more chronic diseases, including hypertension (41.0%), diabetes (29.0%) and coronary heart disease (27.0%), respiratory disorders (23.0%) and cerebrovascular disease (12.0%). Fever (46.0%), cough (33.0%), shortness of breath (9.0%) were the most common first symptoms. Multiple organ failure (67.9%), circulatory failure (20.2%) and respiratory failure (11.9%) are the top three direct causes of death. COVID-19 deaths are mainly elderly and patients with chronic diseases especially cardiovascular disorders and diabetes. Multiple organ failure is the most common direct cause of death.