Singapore was one of the first countries affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic but has been able to prevent its healthcare system and intensive care units (ICU) from being overwhelmed. We describe the clinical features, management and outcomes of COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure admitted to our ICU.
A case series of COVID-19 patients admitted to our ICU for respiratory failure from 7 February, with data censoring at 30 June 2020, was performed from a review of medical records.
Twenty-two COVID-19 patients were admitted to our ICU for respiratory failure. The median age was 54.5 years (IQR 30-45.5), 72.7% were male and had at least one comorbidity. The Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II scores were 2.5 (IQR 1.25-7) and 10 (8.25-12) respectively. Thirteen patients required invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and had a median PaO2/FiO2 ratio of 194 mmHg (IQR 173-213) after intubation. The 28-day survival was 100%, with 2 patients demising subsequently. The overall ICU mortality rate was 9.1% at the time of data censoring. In IMV survivors, length of IMV and ICU stay were 11 days (IQR 9-17.75) and 16 days (IQR 12-32) respectively.
Low COVID-19 ICU mortality was observed in our "pandemic-ready" ICU. This was achieved by having adequate surge capacity to facilitate early ICU admission and IMV, lung protective ventilation, and slow weaning. Being able to maintain clinical standards and evidence-based practices without having to resort to rationing contributed to better outcomes.