What is the clinical progression of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Updated: Jun 16, 2020
  • Author: Medscape Drugs & Diseases; more...
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Among patients who developed severe disease, note the following clinical progression [1] :

  • Medium time to dyspnea: Range of 5 to 8 days

  • Median time to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS): Range of 8 to 12 days

  • Median time to admission to the intenstive care unit (ICU): Range of 10 to 12 days

Note:  Some patients can rapidly deteriorate 1 week after illness onset. Among all hospitalized patients, 26% to 32% of patients were admitted to the ICU. [1]  Moreover, among all patients, 3% to 17% developed ARDS, compared to 20% to 42% for hospitalized patients and 67% to 85% for those admitted to the ICU. Mortality among COVID-19 ICU patients ranged from 39% to 72%. The median length of hospitalization among survivors was 10 to 13 days.

Critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) generally require the following [2] :

  • High-flow oxygen therapy (11-64%)

  • Mechanical ventilation (47-71%)

  • Respiratory support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (3-12%)

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