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Respiratory Support Techniques for COVID-19-Related ARDS in a Sub-Saharan African Country: A Multicenter Observational Study.

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Kabatooro, Daphne 
Atumanya, Patience 
Tumukunde, Janat 
Kalungi, Joyce 


BACKGROUND: Limited data from low-income countries report on respiratory support techniques in COVID-19-associated ARDS. RESEARCH QUESTION: Which respiratory support techniques are used in patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS in Uganda? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A multicenter, prospective, observational study was conducted at 13 Ugandan hospitals during the pandemic and included adults with COVID-19-associated ARDS. Patient characteristics, clinical and laboratory data, initial and most advanced respiratory support techniques, and 28-day mortality were recorded. Standard tests, log-rank tests, and logistic regression analyses were used for statistical analyses. RESULTS: Four hundred ninety-nine patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS (mild, n = 137; moderate, n = 247; and severe, n = 115) were included (ICU admission, 38.9%). Standard oxygen therapy (SOX), high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO), CPAP, noninvasive ventilation (NIV), and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) was used as the first-line (most advanced) respiratory support technique in 37.3% (35.3%), 10% (9.4%), 11.6% (4.8%), 23.4% (14.4%), and 17.6% (36.6%) of patients, respectively. The first-line respiratory support technique was escalated in 19.8% of patients. Twenty-eight-day mortality was 51.9% (mild ARDS, 13.1%; moderate ARDS, 62.3%; severe ARDS, 75.7%; P < .001) and was associated with respiratory support techniques as follows: SOX, 19.9%; HFNO, 31.9%; CPAP, 58.3%; NIV 61.1%; and IMV, 83.9% (P < .001). Proning was used in 79 patients (15.8%; 59 of 79 awake) and was associated with lower mortality (40.5% vs 54%; P = .03). The oxygen saturation to Fio2 ratio (OR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.98-0.99; P < .001) and respiratory rate (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.03-1.12; P = .002) at admission and NIV (OR, 6.31; 95% CI, 2.29-17.37; P < .001) or IMV (OR, 8.08; 95% CI, 3.52-18.57; P < .001) use were independent risk factors for death. INTERPRETATION: SOX, HFNO, CPAP, NIV, and IMV were used as respiratory support techniques in patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS in Uganda. Although these data are observational, they suggest that the use of SOX and HFNO therapy as well as awake proning are associated with a lower mortality resulting from COVID-19-associated ARDS in a resource-limited setting.



ARDS, COVID-19, Uganda, respiratory support technique, sub-Saharan Africa, Adult, Humans, COVID-19, Prospective Studies, Oxygen, Noninvasive Ventilation, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Africa South of the Sahara

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Elsevier BV
Wellcome Trust (107742/Z/15/Z)