Although lockdown restrictions are now being eased, there are ongoing concerns over the possibility that a second wave of COVID-19 would pull the UK back into a renewed pandemic peak. There is therefore, an urgent need for further scientific evidence to help characterise the clinical profile of patients with COVID-19 and identify factors that are associated with patient deterioration. This information is critical in aiding policy makers and clinicians to make informed decisions on prevention measures and patient care moving forward.
The Discovery Sciences Team at Sensyne, in a close co-development partnership with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust sought to respond rapidly in research driven to respond to what clinicians and doctors need, by analysing comprehensive real-world evidence data from our NHS partner Trusts. The clinically-led joint team analysed fully anonymised electronic health records of 2756 patients hospitalised in 2020, of whom 1148 were tested positive for COVID-19.
The aims of the project were two-fold. Firstly, to pinpoint whether there are any distinguishing demographic characteristics, biochemical signatures, and vital signs among patients admitted to the hospital that are characteristic of COVID-19. Secondly, was to identify similar factors that show increased risk of deterioration to severe disease inpatients with COVID-19.
With advice from critical care clinicians, the outcomes indicative of deterioration analysed by the team were: admission to the hospital’s adult intensive care unit, the need for mechanical ventilation, elevated D-dimer indicative of increased risk of venous thromboembolism, and death.
The team identified several important factors characteristic of COVID-19, as well as deterioration to severe disease and death in those infected by the virus. Most notably: age, ethnicity, markers of respiratory distress and fever, as well as higher inflammation were all not only associated with presentation with COVID-19, but also with progression to more severe manifestations of the disease.
This work corroborates the findings of the wider scientific community. The team has published these findings on Your medRxiv to contribute to efforts combatting the pandemic and help hospital staff make timely decisions regarding patient care in the months to come.