COVID-19: Expert Reviews of Relevant and Emerging Literature2021-04-28T15:30:24-04:00

Social distancing measures to address the U.S. COVID-19 epidemic may have significant health, social, and economic impacts. This study estimates the mean change in state-level COVID-19 epidemic growth before versus after the implementation of statewide social distancing measures in the United States.

This paper focuses on two scalable and readily available methods of mass reporting of COVID-19 cases in real time to fill in important gaps in the operational reporting of this pandemic.

To respond to COVID-19, many countries are using a combination of containment and mitigation activities with the goal of attenuating community spread. Thus current information available to the public may be a gross under-reporting of the current epidemic and do not allow for the strategies and scale of resource re-allocation needed to provide supportive care to those becoming critically ill.

This article explains why the current mortality rates of COVID-19 should not be compared between countries.

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread internationally. Worldwide, almost 700,000 cases and 33,000 deaths have been reported. The WHO estimates the global mortality rate to be 3.4% but this varies between countries and across ages.

This panel report contains five main and three additional recommendations intended to help medical practitioners use CXR and CT in the management of COVID-19.

This modeling study describes a publicly available system designed for hospital operations leaders that can inform preparations for capacity strain under the COVID-19 pandemic.

This study used a Monte Carlo simulation to estimate the timing of surges for clinical resources, as well as the best- and worst-case scenarios of local COVID-19–induced strain on hospital capacity. It was based on three hospitals in an academic health system in the greater Philadelphia region.

This cohort study suggests that laboratory levels of LDH, CRP, ALT and NEU can be useful in predicting the results of COVID-19 test.

This diagnostic accuracy study sought to determine the accuracy of laboratory parameters in predicting cases with positive RT-PCR for COVID-19. Researchers evaluated 200 cases of potential COVID-19. RT-PCR was positive in 35% cases. Patients with positive RT-PCR had significantly higher neutrophil counts, C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase , aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and Urea levels in serum.

Patients with positive RT-PCR also had lower white blood cell count and serum albumin levels.

This case series showed convalescent plasma was well tolerated and has potential to improve the clinical outcomes of severe COVID-19 cases. The optimal dose and timing, as well as the true clinical benefit, needs further study in larger well-controlled trials.

Researchers enrolled 10 severely infected patients with COVID-19. Each was given one dose of 200 mL of convalescent plasma derived from recently recovered donors with neutralizing antibody titers above 1:640. They were also given supportive care and antiviral agents.

This review discussed how clinical decision scores can be used to make decisions about ICU care in the COVID-19 pandemic and tests three scores in the current environment.

It’s very possible that the COVID-19 pandemic may overwhelm healthcare resources in particular areas. This includes personnel. In such cases, decisions will have to be made as to who should be admitted and cared for in ICUs.

This article offers health care providers evidence-based principles for communicating with sick patients during a community health crisis.

Communication challenges with sick patients have been exacerbated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care providers are facing patients with extreme levels of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear as they deliver serious diagnoses and prognoses and attempt to discuss goals of care. Evidence-based communication methods exist to train clinicians in how to communicate with patients with serious illness. Specifically, health care providers are reminded of three core principles:

This paper outlines that COVID-19 circulated cryptically and was undetected 4-6 weeks before the first community transmission case was detected at Seattle. Mass testing will enable public health officials to detect and track these under-detected community cases.

Following its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late November or early December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has rapidly spread throughout the world. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a pandemic.

This study describes the use of pooled screening strategies to detect early community transmission of COVID-19.

COVID-19 has shown us the importance of robust diagnostic testing. Given the limited testing capacity available in the US, people symptoms, but without travel or exposure history, were not tested. We do not have an accurate picture of the community circulation of the virus prior to the identification of individuals with positive results.

This review article details important considerations in providing critical care to patients with COVID-19.

Initial reports gave us reason to believe that about 5% of proven infections required critical care. Given how infectious the virus is, critical care will be needed in great amounts. Hospitals and health care systems will be challenged. In areas of China without enough capacity, case-fatality rates were seven times higher (2.9% versus 0.4%).

This article reviews critical care for patients with COVID-19, including:

This Health Affairs post urges that state Departments of Health to provide “consistent standardized public reporting on cumulative COVID-19 hospitalizations, cumulative COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU, current COVID-19 patients hospitalized, and current COVID-19 patients in the ICU.”

In this Australian news article, health care providers demand government officials to provide consistent information related to COVID-19.

Other countries can learn from the ineffectiveness of the inconsistent messages Australian government leaders and public health officials have been disseminating. General practitioners expressed frustration over the lack of consistent advice being given to health professionals and the public. Without consistent messages, health care providers are unsure of how best to protect themselves and their patients during the spread of COVID-19. Up-to-date, unified information must be communicated clearly by both the government and public health organizations.

Published on  :  | By Seema Mohapatra

Review: The pandemic’s missing data

This op-ed in the New York Times by Dr. Aletha Maybank, Chief Health Equity Officer of the American Medical Association, urges ” laboratories, health institutions, state and local health departments and the Department of Health and Human Services to standardize, collect and publish race and ethnicity data … to prioritize equity and effectively manage this pandemic.”

This forthcoming article from the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine argues that, in allocating scarce resources, determining a patient’s potential to benefit from treatment should rely on a structured, evidence-based, and global assessment of frailty that accounts for more than simply the patient’s age.

This study describes the development the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker mobile application launched in the UK on March 24, 2020 and the US on March 29, 2020 that has more than 2.25 million users to date.

This study provides further evidence that serological testing is an effective diagnostic means for COVID, and showed that the positive rate and titer variance of IgG are higher than IgM.

Researchers retrospectively reviewed 43 patients with COVID-19 and 33 patients with suspected infection who were later excluded.  They measured the IgM/IgG titers by chemiluminescence immunoassay analysis.

This article reports on the potential that ventilators may be reallocated from long-term care facilities to hospitals to respond to resource scarcity due to COVID-19 case surge, including the controversial possibility of disconnecting ventilators currently in use by long-term ventilator-dependent patients.

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Creative Commons License The literature reviews on this blog were created under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , which allows the reuse and adaptation of the work by noncommercial entities. These rights do not extend to the articles that the authors are reviewing.

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