Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

IntroductionRespiratory high-dependency units (rHDUs) are used to manage respiratory failure in COVID-19 outside of the intensive care unit (ICU). The alpha variant of COVID-19 has been linked to increased rates of mortality and admission to ICU; however, its impact on a rHDU population is not known. We aimed to compare rHDU outcomes between the two main UK waves of COVID-19 infection and evaluate the impact of the alpha variant on second wave outcomes.MethodsWe conducted a single-centre, retrospective analysis of all patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 admitted to the rHDU of our teaching hospital for respiratory support during the first and second main UK waves.ResultsIn total, 348 patients were admitted to rHDU. In the second wave, mortality (26.7% s vs 50.7% first wave, χ2=14.7, df=1, p=0.0001) and intubation rates in those eligible (24.3% s vs 58.8% first wave, χ2=17.3, df=2, p=0.0002) were improved compared with the first wave. In the second wave, the alpha variant had no effect on mortality (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.60 to 2.32, p=0.64). Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) (89.5%) and awake proning (85.6%) were used in most patients in the second wave.DiscussionOur single-centre experience shows that rHDU mortality and intubation rates have improved over time in spite of the emergence of the alpha variant. Our data support the use of CPAP and awake proning, although improvements in outcome are likely to be multifactorial.

Original publication

DOI

10.1136/bmjresp-2021-001044

Type

Journal article

Journal

BMJ open respiratory research

Publication Date

11/2021

Volume

8

Addresses

Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Oxford, UK christopher.turnbull@ouh.nhs.uk.

Keywords

Oxford Respiratory Group