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Review: In-ICU Mortality for COVID-19 Down to 41.6 Percent

Mortality broadly consistent across the globe; mortality rates fell as pandemic progressed

TUESDAY, July 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The in-intensive care unit (ICU) mortality from COVID-19 is lower than initially thought, with a combined mortality of 41.6 percent based on 24 studies, according to a review published online June 30 in Anaesthesia.

Richard A. Armstrong, M.B.B.S., from Severn Deanery in Bristol, England, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine ICU mortality among patients with confirmed COVID-19. Data were included from 24 observational studies with 10,150 patients identified from centers across Asia, Europe, and North America.

The researchers found that in-ICU mortality varied from 0 to 84.6 percent among studies. Outcome data for all patients were reported in seven studies. In the remaining studies, there was variation in the proportion of patients discharged from the ICU at the point of reporting from 24.5 to 97.2 percent. The combined ICU mortality was 41.6 percent in COVID-19 patients with completed ICU admissions. Mortality was broadly consistent across the globe in a subgroup analysis by continent. The reported mortality rates decreased from greater than 50 percent to close to 40 percent as the pandemic progressed.

"There were no significant effects of geographical location, but reported ICU mortality fell over time. Optimistically, countries in the later phase of the pandemic may be coping better with COVID-19," the authors write. "Our analysis is reassuring in that in-ICU mortality is lower than early reports suggested."

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