Deciding When to Intubate a COVID-19 Patient

Link to article at PubMed

Anesth Pain Med. 2022 Jun 21;12(3):e123350. doi: 10.5812/aapm-123350. eCollection 2022 Jun.


BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is one of the most significant challenges for healthcare providers, particularly in the critical care setting. The timing of intubation in COVID-19 patients seems to be challenging. Therefore, we aimed to investigate how it may have a survival benefit, and we determined which clinical characteristics were associated with outcomes.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in the Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex. We randomly selected patients admitted to intensive care units and, based on intubation status, categorized them into three subgroups (early, late, and not intubated). Early intubation is defined as intubation within 48 hours of ICU admission, and late intubation is defined as intubation after 48 hours of ICU admission.

RESULTS: Early-intubated patients were more likely to have dyspnea than late-intubated patients, and late-intubated patients had a higher mean heart rate than early-intubated patients. The neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio was significantly (P < 0.05) lower in not-intubated patients than in other patients. There was no difference in NLR between early- and late-intubated patients. Mean serum creatine phosphokinase and troponin I levels were higher in late-intubated patients than in early- and not-intubated patients. Early-intubated patients had a lower ROX index than late-intubated patients. Patients with higher scores of APACHE 2, respiratory rates, and neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio were more likely to be intubated. Increasing APACHE and SOFA scores were associated with decreased odds of survival.

CONCLUSIONS: There were no statistically significant differences in total mortality between early- and late-intubated patients. APACHE 2 scores, NLR, RR, and history of ischemic heart disease are some of the appropriate predictors of intubation. Higher respiratory rates (tachypnea) can be an indicator of early intubation. The ROX index is one of the most sensitive and capable tools for predicting intubation. Intubation status is a potent predictor of in-hospital mortality.

PMID:36818481 | PMC:PMC9923339 | DOI:10.5812/aapm-123350

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