Hypothermia is Associated With Poor Prognosis in Hospitalized Patients With Severe COVID-19 Symptoms

Link to article at PubMed

Cureus. 2021 Apr 16;13(4):e14526. doi: 10.7759/cureus.14526.


Rationale Hypothermia forms a part of the diagnostic criteria for Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), National Early Warning Score (NEWS) and has repeatedly been shown to be associated with worse outcomes when compared to normothermic and hyperthermic patients with sepsis. We evaluate whether this is the case in COVID-19 patients. Objective To determine whether there is an association between hypothermia and worse prognosis in COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit. Methods Retrospective study of a cohort of patients (n = 57) admitted to the intensive care unit of a community hospital with a positive test for COVID-19. Measurements Data relating to mortality, comorbidities and length of stay was recorded from electronic medical records for each patient. Hypothermia was defined as ≥2 recorded body temperatures of less than 96.5℉ (35.83℃) at the time of admission. Main results Of the 57 patients enrolled in the study, 21 developed hypothermia during their stay and 36 did not. Our results show that patients who have hypothermia at the time of admission spend a longer time intubated (p < 0.01) and go through longer ICU stays (p < 0.01). These patients are also 2.18 times more likely to suffer a fatal outcome compared to patients that did not develop hypothermia while in the intensive care unit (Chi-squared = 8.6209, p < 0.01, RR = 2.18). Conclusions Hypothermia in patients with severe COVID-19 at the time of admission to the ICU is associated with poorer outcomes for patients. This manifests as a longer period of intubation, longer ICU stay, and increased risk of mortality.

PMID:34007774 | PMC:PMC8121204 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.14526

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