The mortality risk for critically ill patients with COVID-19 is higher than for those with severe influenza infection, according to research from the US.
The study, carried out by the University of Washington and published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, retrospectively looked at clinical data from 65 critically ill patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with COVID-19 and 74 patients from the same medical system admitted to ICU with influenza A or B, to investigate the various characteristics of patients in the two groups.
This study found that COVID-19 patients had slower improvements in blood oxygen levels, a longer duration of mechanical ventilation and lower rates of extubation than the influenza patients. Patients with COVID-19 were also more likely to be male, have higher body mass index (BMI) and higher rates of chronic kidney disease and diabetes.
These results suggest an increased risk of hospital mortality among critically ill patients with COVID-19 infection compared to influenza, the authors say. The findings underscore the importance of efforts for limiting transmission as well as ongoing investigations for effective therapies and vaccines, they conclude.