Clinical and laboratory characteristics of recovered versus deceased COVID-19 patients in Islamabad, Pakistan

We read with great interest the article published in this journal entitled “Clinical features of critically ill patients with confirmed COVID-19″ by Yanan Chu and colleagues.1

The authors comprehensively described the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit at Zhejiang hospital in China. Here we present a comparative analysis of clinical and laboratory features associated with recovered and deceased COVID-19 patients in Pakistan.

The first case of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan, China and later became a serious public health threat with rapid spread to 213 countries across the world. The World Health Organization declared this pandemic as a public Health Emergency of International concern on 30 January 2020. As of 6 September 2020, over 49 million confirmed cases and over 12 million deaths have been reported across the globe.2

First case of COVID-19 in Pakistan, was detected on February 26, 2020; the toll then reached at 3,40,251 confirmed cases including 6923 deaths as of September 6, 2020.2

It is important to know the difference among the demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of recovered and deceased COVID-19 patients for the proper case management, which will be helpful to reduce the rate of mortality.
For this retrospective single center study, we included 100 critical COVID-19 confirmed patients admitted to the intensive care unit at a tertiary care hospital in Islamabad Pakistan, from June 12 to July 4, 2020. Laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 was done at the department of Virology, National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad through real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay using nasopharyngeal swab specimens. We obtained demographic features, clinical symptoms, laboratory test and outcome data from patient’s electronic medical records. Clinical outcomes were followed up to 17 July 2020. The SPSS Statistics 23.0 software (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) was used to perform statistical analysis of the data. A value of P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. The study was approved by the internal review board of NIH and written informed consent was obtained from the patients (or their caretakers) enrolled for the study.

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