Health Sci Rep. 2021 Nov 2;4(4):e423. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.423. eCollection 2021 Dec.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Palliative care is a critical component of the response of a healthcare system to a pandemic. We present risk factors associated with mortality and highlight an operational palliative care consult service in facilitating early identification of risk factors to guide goal-concordant care and rational utilization of finite healthcare resources during a pandemic.
METHODS: In this case series of 100 consecutive patients hospitalized with COVID-19, we analyzed clinical data, treatment including palliative care, and outcomes in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to three hospitals in Seattle, Washington. We compared data between patients who were discharged and non-survivors.
RESULTS: Age (OR 4.67 [1.43, 15.32] ages 65-79; OR 3.96 [1.05, 14.89] ages 80-97), dementia (OR 5.62 [1.60, 19.74]), and transfer from a congregate living facility (OR 5.40 [2.07, 14.07]), as well hypoxemia and tachypnea (OR 7.00 [2.91, 22.41]; OR 2.78 [1.11, 6.97]) were associated with mortality. Forty-one (41%) patients required intensive care and 22 (22%) invasive mechanical ventilation. Forty-six (46%) patients were seen by the palliative care service, resulting in a change of resuscitation status in 54% of admitted patients. Fifty-eight (58%) patients recovered and were discharged, 34 (34%) died, and eight (8%) remained hospitalized, of which seven ultimately survived and one died.
CONCLUSIONS: Older age, dementia, and congregate living were associated with mortality. Early discussions of goals of care facilitated by an operational palliative care consult service can effectively guide goal-concordant care in patients at high risk for mortality during a pandemic. Development of a functional palliative care consult service is an important component of pandemic planning.