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Burden of Severe COVID-19 High in California, Washington State

Length of stay was 9.3 days for survivors; probability high for ICU admission, mortality

doctor examining his patient wearing oxygen mask

FRIDAY, May 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For residents of California and Washington with COVID-19, the length of hospital stay and intensive care unit (ICU) admission are high, according to a study published online May 22 in The BMJ.

Joseph A. Lewnard, Ph.D., from the University of California in Berkeley, and colleagues examined the epidemiology and burden of severe COVID-19 in Northern California, Southern California, and Washington state. A total of 1,840 people with a first acute hospital admission for confirmed COVID-19 by April 22, 2020, were included; hospital length of stay and clinical outcomes were analyzed for 1,328 individuals admitted by April 9, 2020.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence rates of a first acute hospital admission for COVID-19 were 15.6, 23.3, and 14.7 per 100,000 cohort members in Northern California, Southern California, and Washington, respectively. Among survivors, the estimated median duration of stay was 9.3 days, while the median duration of stay was 12.7 days for nonsurvivors. The censoring adjusted probability of ICU admission was 48.5 and 32 percent for male and female patients, respectively; the median duration of ICU care was 10.6 days. Among male and female inpatients, the censoring adjusted case fatality ratio was 23.5 and 14.9 percent, respectively; for male and female patients, mortality risk increased with age. In each region, there were reductions in effective reproduction number during the study period.

"Hospitals should ensure capacity to manage patients with COVID-19 in the coming months in a manner that is responsive to changes in social distancing or other pandemic mitigating measures," the authors write.

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