Crit Care Explor. 2022 Jan 18;4(1):e0616. doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000616. eCollection 2022 Jan.
Frailty is often used in clinical decision-making for patients with coronavirus disease 2019, yet studies have found a variable influence of frailty on outcomes in those admitted to the ICU. In this individual patient data meta-analysis, we evaluated the characteristics and outcomes across the range of frailty in patients admitted to ICU with coronavirus disease 2019.
DATA SOURCES: We contacted the corresponding authors of 16 eligible studies published between December 1, 2019, and February 28, 2021, reporting on patients with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 admitted to ICU with a documented Clinical Frailty Scale.
STUDY SELECTION: Individual patient data were obtained from seven studies with documented Clinical Frailty Scale were included. We classified patients as nonfrail (Clinical Frailty Scale = 1-4) or frail (Clinical Frailty Scale = 5-8).
DATA EXTRACTION: We collected patient demographics, Clinical Frailty Scale score, ICU organ supports, and clinically relevant outcomes (ICU and hospital mortality, ICU and hospital length of stays, and discharge destination). The primary outcome was hospital mortality.
DATA SYNTHESIS: Of the 2,001 patients admitted to ICU, 388 (19.4%) were frail. Increasing age and Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score, Clinical Frailty Scale score greater than or equal to 4, use of mechanical ventilation, vasopressors, renal replacement therapy, and hyperlactatemia were risk factors for death in a multivariable analysis. Hospital mortality was higher in patients with frailty (65.2% vs 41.8%; p < 0.001), with adjusted mortality increasing with a rising Clinical Frailty Scale score beyond 3. Younger and nonfrail patients were more likely to receive mechanical ventilation. Patients with frailty spent less time on mechanical ventilation (median days [interquartile range], 9 [5-16] vs 11 d [6-18 d]; p = 0.012) and accounted for only 12.3% of total ICU bed days.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with frailty with coronavirus disease 2019 were commonly admitted to ICU and had greater hospital mortality but spent relatively fewer days in ICU when compared with nonfrail patients. Patients with frailty receiving mechanical ventilation were at greater risk of death than patients without frailty.