More COVID-19 Patients in ICUs Are Surviving Now

By EJ Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY July 15, 2020 (HealthDay News) – As new coronavirus infections soar in the United States, new study offers good news: seriously ill COVID-19 patients are much more likely to survive now than a few- a few months ago.

In fact, the deaths of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units have decreased by almost a third in North America, Asia and Europe since the start of the pandemic, the researchers report.

Overall, deaths in intensive care fell from almost 60% at the end of March to 42% at the end of May.

This translates into tens of thousands of lives saved and “may reflect the rapid global learning” of what drugs work (for example, remdesivir and dexamethasone) or do not (hydroxychloroquine) to fight COVID-19, according to a team led by Tim Cook. He is an anesthesia and intensive care medicine consultant at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust in England.

But the fact that fewer very sick COVID-19 patients are dying does not mean that companies can become complacent in the face of the threat, experts said.

“Any successful treatment, if not combined with good public health measures to keep the new rate of cases below the limit of existing health care resources, will erase any gains made in recent months by simply overwriting the ICUs that have just improved in COVID-19 treatment, “said Dr. Eric Cioe Pena. He leads global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, NY

In fact, death rates from COVID-19 are starting to rise again in the United States, despite improved care. As of Wednesday, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States has exceeded 3.4 million, the death toll having exceeded 136,000, according to a New york times pointing.

And after reaching a plateau earlier this month, the number of deaths in the United States is increasing again. Monday, five states – Arizona, California, Florida, Mississippi and Texas – broke average daily COVID-19 death records during the week Washington Post reported.

However, if you don’t have a chance to land in an intensive care unit with COVID-19, your chances of leaving alive are better now, discovered Cook and his team.


Their report was based on an analysis of 24 studies from around the world, involving more than 10,000 patients. All studies have focused on ICU deaths among adults with COVID-19 published until May 31.

The data suggests that credit for improving survival is not based on specific therapy, the researchers said. They published their findings on July 15 in the newspaper Anesthesia.

However, something must have changed during the study period. In addition to all the new data on drugs that can help beat COVID-19, “it may also be that the criteria for admission to the ICU have changed over time, for example, with increased pressure on the ICU at the start of the pandemic, “Cook said in a newspaper. Press release.

His team also noted that longer stays in intensive care for COVID-19 patients take time to be reflected in the published data. In fact, a serious COVID-19 illness can last for long periods, with approximately 20% of COVID-19 ICU admissions in the UK for more than 28 days and 9% for more than 42 days.

“The important message, however, is that as the pandemic progresses and all of these factors combine, the survival of patients admitted to intensive care with COVID-19 has improved significantly,” the researchers concluded.

It is still too early to congratulate you. As noted by Cook’s group, even at around 42%, the mortality rate for COVID-19 patients in ICU is still almost double the mortality rate for ICU patients fighting other viral pneumonias (22% ).

Despite this, the results suggest that “as the pandemic progresses, we can better manage COVID-19,” the team said.

For his part, Pena says the study “rightly concludes something we expect: as we learn more about this virus and its effects on seriously ill people, we have become better at treating it and its complications “.

Dr. Syed Iqbal is an intensive care doctor at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills in New York, who was severely affected by COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic. Reading the results of the study, he agreed that “the disease has a prolonged course and some patients have died after an extended stay in intensive care. This also shows that the death rate is much higher than other diseases viral “.

HealthDay WebMD News


SOURCES: Eric Cioe Pena, MD, director, global health, Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, NY; Syed Iqbal, MD, intensivist, Long Island Jewish Forest Hills, New York;Anesthesia, press release, July 15, 2020

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