In a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, physician researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) evaluated the rational impact of COVID-19 on hospitalized patients with the viral infection in March and April 2020, versus patients who were hospitalized with the virus. flu in the last five flu seasons at the medical center. Overall, the team showed that COVID-19 cases led to many more weekly hospitalizations, greater use of mechanical ventilation and higher mortality rates than influenza.
COVID-19 and influenza are both infectious respiratory viral infections that can lead to pneumonia and severe respiratory failure in severe cases. However, there is a lack of a detailed comparison of the epidemiology and clinical features of COVID-19 and influenza characteristics.
“COVID-19 has been compared to influenza both by health care professionals and by the non-clerical public, but there is little limited detail data available for comparison and differentiation. between the impact of these two diseases on patients and hospitals, “said co – author Michael Donnino, MD, Physician in Critical Care and Emergency Medicine at BIDMC. “We compared patients admitted to BIDMC with COVID-19 in spring 2020 with patients admitted to BIDMC with influenza in the last five flu seasons. We found that COVID-19 causes a more severe infection and is more deadly than the flu. “
Donnino and his colleagues included 1,634 patients in the hospital in their study, 582 of whom had been diagnosed with COVID-19 laboratory and 1,052 of whom had been diagnosed with influenza. The team found that, on average, 210 patients were admitted to BIDMC in each eight-month flu season, compared to the 582 patients with COVID-19 admitted in March and April 2020 While 174 patients with COVID-19 (or 30 percent) received mechanical ventilation in the two-month period, only 84 flu patients (or 8 percent) were ventilated over the five seasons. of the flu. Similarly, the proportion of patients who died was significantly higher for COVID-19 than for influenza; Twenty percent of patients admitted with COVID-19 died in the two-month period, compared with three percent of patients with influenza over five quarters.
Further analysis showed that hospitalized patients with COVID-19 tended to be younger than those hospitalized with influenza. Among patients who required mechanical ventilation, patients with COVID-19 had significantly longer ventilation – a median duration of two weeks – compared with just over three days for patients with influenza. Moreover, among patients requiring mechanical ventilation, patients with COVID-19 were significantly more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions.
“Our data show that 98 percent of hospitalized patient deaths with COVID-19 were directly or indirectly related to their COVID-19 disease, indicating that patients did not die. with COVID but rather from COVID flu or a problem, “Donnino said.
The authors note that the strict social distance guidelines implemented last spring may have influenced these decisions by limiting frequency. and COVID-19 mortality near the end of April 2020. On the other hand, some treatment practices have evolved over the course of the pandemic. improving outcomes for patients with COVID-19.
Co-authors included Ari Moskowitz, MD, Garrett S. Thompson, MPH, Stanley J. Heydrick, PhD, Rahul D. Pawar, MD, Katherine M. Berg, MD, Shivani Mehta, Zone V. Patel, BSN, RN, and Anne V. Grossestreuer, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center all.
This work was supported by internal funding. Donnino, Moskowitz and Berg are supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health (K24HL127101, R01HL136705 and 1R01DK112886; K23GM128005; and K23HL128881404).