Nearly 1 in 10 COVID Patients Return to Hospital After Being
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Roughly 1 in 10 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 needed to return to the hospital within a week of discharge from an emergency department visit, according to data from the first three months of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philadelphia region--March, April and May 2020.

Researchers found that factors like lower pulse oximetry levels and fever were some of the most telling symptoms that resulted in return trips that resulted in admission. This information, published in Academic Emergency Medicine, could prove invaluable to clinicians working to fight a disease.

The study looked at 1,419 patients who went to an emergency department (ED) between March 1 and May 28, 2020, were discharged, and tested positive for COVID-19 in the seven days surrounding that visit.

Data showed that 4.7 percent of the patients returned to the hospital and were admitted within just three days for their initial ED visit, and an additional 3.9 percent were hospitalized within a week. In total, that meant that 8.6 percent of patients were coming back to the hospital after their first ED visit due to COVID-19.

A population that the study showed was particularly vulnerable were patients over 60 years old. Compared to patients in the 18 to 39 years of age range, those over 60 were more than five times as likely to require hospitalization after being discharged from their initial emergency department visit. Those in the 40 to 59 age range were found to be three times as likely to require hospitalization than the younger group.

When it came to individual symptoms, the study showed that patients of any age with low pulse oximetry readings were about four times as likely to require hospitalization upon return as compared to those with higher readings, while patients with fevers were more than three times as likely as compared to those without.

"If the patient had other factors such as an abnormal chest x-ray, the likelihood of needing to come back to be hospitalized goes up even more," said researchers.

Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acem.14117
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