Discharge from the Emergency Department and Early Hospital Revaluation in Patients with COVID-19 Pneumonia: an Observational Study
Background Health National Systems world-wide are facing the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. We purpose an outpatient management for patients affected by SARS-CoV-2 related pneumonia at risk of progression, after discharge from Emergency Department (ED).Methods This was a single-center prospective observational study. We enrolled patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, without hypoxemic respiratory failure, and at least one of the following: age ≥ 65
... following: age ≥ 65 or presence of one or more comorbidities or pneumonia involvement > 25% on high resolution computed tomography (HRCT). The ambulatorial visit was performed after at least 48 hours, then patients could be discharged, admitted for hospitalization, or deferred for a further visit. As a control, we evaluated a historical cohort of patients hospitalized with comparable clinical and radiological features.Results A total of 84 patients were enrolled (51 M, mean age 62.8 y). Two-thirds of patients had at least one comorbidity and 41.6% had a lung involvement > 25% at HRCT; the mean duration of symptoms was 8 ± 3 days and the mean PaO2/FiO2 ratio 357.5 ± 38.6. At the end of the follow-up period, 69 patients had been discharged and 15 hospitalized (mean stay 6 days). Older age and higher NEWS2 were significant predictors of hospitalization at the first follow-up visit. One hospitalized patient died of septic shock. In the control group, the mean hospital stay was 8 days.Conclusions Adopting a "discharge and early revaluation" strategy appear to be safe and feasible. This approach may help to optimize hospital resources during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.