Characteristics of Patients on ITU

Admissions to ITU will be biased by circumstances in spring vs September. For example, in spring only the sickest and younger patients were given an ITU because of fear of more patients coming in the next few days. In September, the threshold for admission is likely lower for patients who are at higher risk e.g. high BMI, male, Asian or Black ethnicity.

Despite this bias the proportion of patients who were of black ethnicity in spring was 16% compared to only 7% in September.

The length of stay is much closer to the background rate for ITU admissions. Again there may be a bias with patients being kept longer because COVID patients in spring could deteriorate suddenly and unexpectedly.

The data on age, ethnicity etc is hard to interpret without knowing the control distribution for average ITU admissions.

Published by clarecraigfrcpath

I have been a pathologist since 2001 and a Consultant Pathologist since 2009. I worked for Imperial College Healthcare Trust as a cytopathologist until 2015. Subsequently I was the day to day Pathologist on the cancer arm of the 100,000 Genome Project and more recently I have worked for Panakeia, an AI digital pathology startup as Head of Pathology. I am currently between jobs and doing occasional consultancy work and crunching COVID data.

One thought on “Characteristics of Patients on ITU

  1. Hi Clare. In relation to Covid, as an ex senior ITU nurse in London, I can categorically say we NEVER admitted a patient with ‘flu’ for ventilation in the over 70’s. the reason being simple (that you as a pathologist will know) elderly patients with respiratory disease are very very hard to remove from a ventilator IF they recover, more likely they become dependent on the ventilator, then start to have multi organ failure and as such die. we would usually suggest O2 management, IV antibiotics to be given on their wards TBH most geriatricians would never suggest ITU admissions anyway.
    So why are we ventilating elderly covid patients


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