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Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been responsible for over 3.4 million deaths globally and over 25 million cases in India. As part of the response, India imposed a nation-wide lockdown and prioritized COVID-19 care in hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs). Leveraging data from the Indian Registry of IntenSive care, we sought to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on critical care service utilization, case-mix, and clinical outcomes in non-COVID ICUs.  Methods: We included all consecutive patients admitted between 1st October 2019 and 27th September 2020. Data were extracted from the registry database and included patients admitted to the non-COVID or general ICUs at each of the sites. Outcomes included measures of resource-availability, utilisation, case-mix, acuity, and demand for ICU beds. We used a Mann-Whitney test to compare the pre-pandemic period (October 2019 - February 2020) to the pandemic period (March-September 2020). In addition, we also compared the period of intense lockdown (March-May 31st 2020) with the pre-pandemic period. Results: There were 3424 patient encounters in the pre-pandemic period and 3524 encounters in the pandemic period. Comparing these periods, weekly admissions declined (median [Q1 Q3] 160 [145,168] to 113 [98.5,134]; p=0.00002); unit turnover declined (median [Q1 Q3] 12.1 [11.32,13] to 8.58 [7.24,10], p<0.00001), and APACHE II score increased (median [Q1 Q3] 19 [19,20] to 21 [20,22] ; p<0.00001). Unadjusted ICU mortality increased (9.3% to 11.7%, p=0.01519) and the length of ICU stay was similar (median [Q1 Q3] 2.11 [2, 2] vs. 2.24 [2, 3] days; p=0.15096). Conclusion: Our registry-based analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on non-COVID critical care demonstrates significant disruptions to healthcare utilization during the pandemic and an increase in the severity of illness.

Original publication

DOI

10.12688/wellcomeopenres.16953.1

Type

Journal article

Journal

Wellcome Open Research

Publisher

F1000 Research Ltd

Publication Date

18/06/2021

Volume

6

Pages

159 - 159