Initial experiences from patients with COVID-19 on ventilatory support in Denmark

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INTRODUCTION: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)pandemic reached Denmark in early 2020. This paper presents initial intensive-care unit (ICU) experiences with COVID-19 patients at Roskilde Hospital, which was the primary recipient of COVID-19 patients in need of intensive care in the Zealand Region, Denmark.

METHODS: An evaluation was conducted of the COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU due to respiratory failure from 11 March 2020 to 01 April 2020. The number of ICU beds was increased from eight to 22 beds during this period.

RESULTS: Sixteen patients (four women) were evaluated. The median age was 69.5 years (range: 56-84 years). All the patients were admitted to the ICU for hypoxemic respiratory failure and all needed mechanical ventilation by orotracheal intubation. By 16 April, six patients were still admitted to the ICU, four patients had been discharged from the ICU and seven had died. At present, the average length of ICU stay is 14 ± 9 days (mean ± standard deviation). One patient has remained on ventilatory support for 31 days. The evaluation revealed four key themes. COVID-19 patients 1) had greatly increased C-reactive protein levels, 2) needed a significant inspiratory O2fraction, 3) were highly positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) dependent on ventilatory support and 4) suffered highly fluctuating respiratory failure requiring ventilatory support for a significantly longer period of time than non-COVID-19 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients have characteristic reproducible laboratory findings and present a major challenge due to their illness severity and required treatment length.

FUNDING: none.


TidsskriftDanish Medical Journal
Udgave nummer5
StatusUdgivet - 27 apr. 2020

Bibliografisk note

Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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