Background: Since December 2019, the COVID-19 infection has drastically spread across China and the world, including Japan. Few reports so far have clarified the prognosis and treatment of critically ill patients managed with invasive mechanical ventilation. This study aimed to present the clinical courses of 20 critically ill patients with invasive mechanical ventilation, which may be valuable for determining future therapies and intensive care of critically ill patients with COVID-19.
Methods: In this observational, single-center, cohort study, we included 20 critically ill patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection who were admitted to our hospital ICU and required invasive mechanical ventilation. The patients’ general characteristics, laboratory data, treatments, and outcomes were assessed between survivors and non-survivors.
Results: Among these 20 patients, 14 patients survived and 6 patients died. The lowest lymphocyte count (93 vs 279/μL, p<0.01) and the lowest platelet count (12 vs 152×103/μL, p<0.01) were significantly lower, and the highest KL-6 value (1584 vs 546 U/mL, p=0.02) was significantly higher, in the non-survivor group versus the survivor group during the patients’ ICU stay. In addition to antiviral treatments and daily proning of the patients, methylprednisolone was administered to all patients to control cytokine storm syndrome following the virus infection. Six patients died from complications such as fungal infection, but no patients died of respiratory failure. As a result, none of the patients required ECMO.
Conclusion: This report described the prognosis of COVID-19 patients required invasive mechanical ventilation in a single Japanese critical care center. Multidisciplinary treatments using a single protocol, including antiviral therapies, anti-inflammatory therapies, and respiratory physiotherapies, were effective for critically ill COVID-19 patients who required invasive mechanical ventilation.