Intubation Decision Based on Illness Severity and Mortality in COVID-19: An International Study

the International Study of Inflammation in COVID-19 (ISIC) Investigator Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of intubation timing, guided by severity criteria, on mortality in critically ill COVID-19 patients, amidst existing uncertainties regarding optimal intubation practices. DESIGN: Prospective, multicenter, observational study conducted from February 1, 2020, to November 1, 2022. SETTING: Ten academic institutions in the United States and Europe. PATIENTS: Adults (≥ 18 yr old) confirmed with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and hospitalized specifically for COVID-19, requiring intubation postadmission. Exclusion criteria included patients hospitalized for non-COVID-19 reasons despite a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. INTERVENTIONS: Early invasive mechanical ventilation (EIMV) was defined as intubation in patients with less severe organ dysfunction (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment [SOFA] < 7 or Pao2/Fio2 ratio > 250), whereas late invasive mechanical ventilation (LIMV) was defined as intubation in patients with SOFA greater than or equal to 7 and Pao2/Fio2 ratio less than or equal to 250. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The primary outcome was mortality within 30 days of hospital admission. Among 4464 patients, 854 (19.1%) required mechanical ventilation (mean age 60 yr, 61.7% male, 19.3% Black). Of those, 621 (72.7%) were categorized in the EIMV group and 233 (27.3%) in the LIMV group. Death within 30 days after admission occurred in 278 patients (42.2%) in the EIMV and 88 patients (46.6%) in the LIMV group (p = 0.28). An inverse probability-of-treatment weighting analysis revealed a statistically significant association with mortality, with patients in the EIMV group being 32% less likely to die either within 30 days of admission (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.68; 95% CI, 0.52-0.90; p = 0.008) or within 30 days after intubation irrespective of its timing from admission (adjusted HR 0.70; 95% CI, 0.51-0.90; p = 0.006). CONCLUSIONS: In severe COVID-19 cases, an early intubation strategy, guided by specific severity criteria, is associated with a reduced risk of death. These findings underscore the importance of timely intervention based on objective severity assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-941
Number of pages12
JournalCritical care medicine
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • critical care
  • intubation
  • mechanical ventilation
  • mortality
  • outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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