Clinical features and prognostic factors of intensive and non-intensive 1014 COVID-19 patients: an experience cohort from Alahsa, Saudi Arabia

Publication Name

European Journal of Medical Research


Background: COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic and has placed significant demand for acute and critical care services on hospitals in many countries. Objectives: To determine the predictors of severe COVID-19 disease requiring admission to an ICU by comparing patients who were ICU admitted to non-ICU groups. Methods: A cohort study was conducted for the laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients who were admitted to six Saudi Ministry of Health’s hospitals in Alahsa, between March 1, 2020, and July 30, 2020, by reviewing patient’s medical records retrospectively. Results: This cohort included 1014 patients with an overall mean age of 47.2 ± 19.3 years and 582 (57%) were males. A total of 205 (20%) of the hospitalized patients were admitted to the ICU. Hypertension, diabetes and obesity were the most common comorbidities in all study patients (27.2, 19.9, and 9%, respectively). The most prevalent symptoms were cough (47.7%), shortness of breath (35.7%) and fever (34.3%). Compared with non-ICU group, ICU patients had older age (p ≤ 0.0005) and comprised a higher proportion of the current smokers and had higher respiratory rates (p ≤ 0.0005), and more percentage of body temperatures in the range of 37.3–38.0 °C (p ≥ 0.0005); and had more comorbidities including diabetes (p ≤ 0.0005), hypertension (p ≥ 0.0005), obesity (p = 0.048), and sickle cell disease (p = 0.039). There were significant differences between the non-ICU and ICU groups for fever, shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, vomiting, dizziness; elevated white blood cells, neutrophils, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and ferritin, and decreased hemoglobin; and proportion of abnormal bilateral chest CT images (p < 0.05). Significant differences were also found for multiple treatments (p < 0.05). ICU patients group had a much higher mortality rate than those with non-ICU admission (p ≤ 0.0005). Conclusion: Identifying key clinical characteristics of COVID-19 that predict ICU admission and high mortality can be useful for frontline healthcare providers in making the right clinical decision under time-sensitive and resource-constricted environment.

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Funding Sponsor

Ministerio de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social



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