Browsing by Author "Parker, A."
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- ItemBacterial infection, antibiotic use and COVID-19 : lessons from the intensive care unit(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2021-04-14) Moolla, M. S.; Reddy, K.; Fwemba, I.; Nyasulu, P. S.; Taljaard, J. J.; Parker, A.; Lalla, U.; Koegelenberg, C. F. N.; Allwood, B. W.Background. Empirical broad-spectrum antibiotics are frequently prescribed to patients with severe COVID-19, motivated by concern about bacterial coinfection. There is no evidence of benefit from such a strategy, while the dangers of inappropriate antibiotics are well described. Objectives. To investigate the frequency, profile and related outcomes of infections by bacterial pathogens in patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Methods. This was a prospective, descriptive study in a dedicated COVID-19 ICU in Cape Town, South Africa, involving all adult patients admitted to the ICU with confirmed COVID-19 pneumonia between 26 March and 31 August 2020. We collected data on patient comorbidities, laboratory results, antibiotic treatment, duration of admission and in-hospital outcome. Results. We included 363 patients, who collectively had 1 199 blood cultures, 308 tracheal aspirates and 317 urine cultures performed. We found positive cultures for pathogens in 20 patients (5.5%) within the first 48 hours of ICU admission, while 73 additional patients (20.1%) had positive cultures later during their stay. The most frequently isolated pathogens at all sites were Acinetobacter baumannii (n=54), Klebsiella species (n=13) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (n=9). Length of ICU stay (p<0.001) and intubation (p<0.001) were associated with positive cultures on multivariate analysis. Disease severity (p=0.5), early antibiotic use (p=0.5), diabetes mellitus (p=0.1) and HIV (p=0.9) were not associated with positive cultures. Positive cultures, particularly for tracheal aspirates (p<0.05), were associated with longer ICU length of stay and mortality. Early empirical antibiotic use was not associated with mortality (odds ratio 2.5; 95% confidence interval 0.95 - 6.81). Conclusions. Bacterial coinfection was uncommon in patients at the time of admission to the ICU with severe COVID-19. Avoiding early empirical antibiotic therapy is therefore reasonable. Strategies to avoid coinfection and outbreaks in hospital, such as infection prevention and control, as well as the strict use of personal protective equipment, are important to improve outcomes.
- ItemCorticosteroids in critical COVID-19 : are all corticosteroids equal?(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2021-06-04) Du Plessis, E. M.; Lalla, U.; Allwood, B. W.; Louw, E. H.; Nortje, A.; Parker, A.; Taljaard, J. J.; Ayele, B. T.; Nyasulu, P. S.; Koegelenberg, C. F. N.Background. The hyperinflammation seen as part of a dysregulated immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in its most severe form leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), multiorgan failure and death. Corticosteroid therapy targets this hyperinflammation, otherwise known as a cytokine storm. It is the only therapeutic agent to date with a mortality benefit, with clear guidelines from national and international health authorities guiding its use. Objectives. To compare severity-of-illness indices, survival, length of intensive care unit (ICU) stay and potential ICU complications in patients treated with different corticosteroid regimens (high-dose hydrocortisone, high-dose methylprednisolone and lower-dose dexamethasone). Methods. In this single-centre descriptive retrospective observational study of a cohort of patients with severe COVID-19 admitted to a COVID-dedicated ICU, we compared patients treated with the three different corticosteroid regimens. Results. In 242 cases we could not demonstrate any statistically or clinically significant difference in the outcome of patients with critical COVID-19 treated with high-dose intravenous hydrocortisone (n=88) or methylprednisolone (n=46) compared with a relatively lower dose of dexamethasone (n=108). The survival rates were 38.6%, 39.1% and 33.3%, respectively (p=0.68). Patients treated with methylprednisolone tended to have a shorter length of ICU stay (median (interquartile range) 6 (4 - 10), 4 (2 - 8) and 5 (2 - 8) days; p=0.015) and fewer episodes of nosocomial sepsis (47.7%, 32.6% and 48.1%; p=0.01). Conclusions. Hydrocortisone or methylprednisolone can be given as an alternative to dexamethasone in the management of critical COVID-19, and this is a feasible alternative, especially in resource-constrained settings.
- ItemHigh HIV prevalence in an early cohort of hospital admissions with COVID-19 in Cape Town, South Africa(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2020) Parker, A.; Koegelenberg, C. F. N.; Moolla, M. S.; Louw, E. H.; Mowlana, A.; Nortje, A.; Ahmed, R.; Brittain, N.; Lalla, U.; Allwood, B. W.; Prozesky, H.; Schrueder, N.; Taljaard, J. J.Background. South Africa (SA) has a high prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis. Cape Town was the SA metropole most affected in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early observational data from Africa may provide valuable insight into what can be expected as the pandemic expands across the continent. Objectives. To describe the prevalence, clinical features, comorbidities and outcome of an early cohort of HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients admitted with COVID-19. Methods. This was a descriptive observational study of an early cohort of adults with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted from 25 March to 11 May 2020. Results. Of 116 patients (mean age 48 years, 61% female) admitted, 24 were HIV-positive (21%). The most common symptoms reported were cough (n=88; 73%), shortness of breath (n=78; 69%), fever (n=67; 59%), myalgia (n=29; 25%) and chest pain (n=22; 20%). The most common comorbidities were hypertension (n=46; 41%), diabetes mellitus (n=43; 38%), obesity (n=32; 28%) and HIV (n=24; 21%). Mortality was associated with older age (mean (standard deviation) 55 (12) years v. 46 (14) years; p<0.01); the presence of hypertension or hypertension along with diabetes and/or obesity; lower partial pressure of arterial oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen ratio; and higher urea level, white cell count, neutrophil count, and C-reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase and ferritin levels, and high neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio. The overall survival rate for all hospital admissions was 86/116 (73%). In this early cohort, survival was similar in patients with HIV (n=18; 75%) compared with those without HIV (n=67; 75%) (p=1). Of the 74 patients admitted to the wards, 63 (85%) survived, whereas 22 of 42 (52%) admitted to the intensive care unit survived. Conclusions. Patients with HIV infection represented a large proportion of all COVID-19 admissions. The presentation and outcome of patients with HIV did not differ significantly from those of patients without HIV.
- ItemLeadership and early strategic response to the SARS-CoV- 2 pandemic at a COVID-19 designated hospital in South Africa(Health & Medical Publishing Group, 2020-04-23) Parker, A.; Karamchand, S.; Schrueder, N.; Lahri, S.; Rabie, H.; Aucamp, A.; Abrahams, R.; Ciapparelli, P.; Erasmus, D. S.; Cotton, M. F.; Lalla, U.; Leisegang, Rory; Meintjes, J.; Mistry, R.; Moosa, M. R.; Mowlana, A.; Koegelenberg, C. F. N.; Prozesky, H.; Smith, W.; Van Schalkwyk, M.; Taljaard, J. J.While many countries are preparing to face the COVID-19 pandemic, the reported cases in Africa remain low. With a high burden of both communicable and non-communicable disease and a resource-constrained public healthcare system, sub-Saharan Africa is preparing for the coming crisis as best it can. We describe our early response as a designated COVID-19 provincial hospital in Cape Town, South Africa (SA).While the first cases reported were related to international travel, at the time of writing there was evidence of early community spread. The SA government announced a countrywide lockdown from midnight 26 March 2020 to midnight 30 April 2020 to stem the pandemic and save lives. However, many questions remain on how the COVID-19 threat will unfold in SA, given the significant informal sector overcrowding and poverty in our communities. There is no doubt that leadership and teamwork at all levels is critical in influencing outcomes.