What affect treatment effects for patients with COVID-19?

CIKD | Updated: 2020-05-07 11:34

It is important to note that the information provided in this Series is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

Medical staff check on patients as they exercise together in the "Wuhan Living" mobile cabin hospital in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province, on Feb 15, 2020. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

The management outcome of patients with COVID-19 mainly depends on the following:

First, patients’ baseline health conditions and concomitant comorbidity are associated with poor prognoses for patients with COVID-19. [1]

Second, early intervention is essential. At the initial stage of the pandemic, medical resources were so overwhelmed that some patients failed to receive early medical intervention and thus experienced poor prognoses. Providing oxygen therapy earlier is crucial because constant hypoxia tends to cause subsequent organ dysfunction.

Third, teamwork is important. Although there are no special drugs for COVID-19, the treatment of COVID-19 still involves basic principles such as the management and maintenance of organ functions. For example, for patients who undergo ECMO support due to refractory hypoxemia, a dedicated and well-operated team is needed to take care of them and the ECMO.

Fourth, preparedness, organization and coordination are crucial. The surge of COVID-19 patients brought huge demands for medical resources such as ventilators, ECMOs and hospital beds, posing big challenges to the healthcare system. It is a complex task to organize resources orderly, to prevent and control the disease and to treat patients effectively. For example, the Chinese government adopted the “leave no one unattended” policy to facilitate early detection and intervention, optimize patients’ triage and guarantee ICU beds for critically ill patients with COVID-19.

[1] Guan WJ, Liang WH, Zhao Y, et al. Comorbidity and its impact on 1590 patients with Covid-19 in China: A Nationwide Analysis. Eur Respir J. 2020 Mar 26. pii: 2000547.

Author: Dr. Zhou Jiancang, MD, Executive Vice-President of Jiangshan Hospital affiliated to Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine (Intensive care attending physician)

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