Use of dialysis, tracheostomy, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation among 842,928 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States

medRxiv. 2021 Feb 12:2020.11.25.20229088. doi: 10.1101/2020.11.25.20229088. Preprint


Objective: To estimate the proportion of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who undergo dialysis, tracheostomy, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Design: A network cohort study.

Setting: Seven databases from the United States containing routinely-collected patient data: HealthVerity, Premier, IQVIA Hospital CDM, IQVIA Open Claims, Optum EHR, Optum SES, and VA-OMOP.

Patients: Patients hospitalized with a clinical diagnosis or a positive test result for COVID-19.

Interventions: Dialysis, tracheostomy, and ECMO.

Measurements and main results: 842,928 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were included (22,887 from HealthVerity, 77,853 from IQVIA Hospital CDM, 533,997 from IQVIA Open Claims, 36,717 from Optum EHR, 4,336 from OPTUM SES, 156,187 from Premier, and 10,951 from VA-OMOP). Across the six databases, 35,192 (4.17% [95% CI: 4.13% to 4.22%]) patients received dialysis, 6,950 (0.82% [0.81% to 0.84%]) had a tracheostomy, and 1,568 (0.19% [95% CI: 0.18% to 0.20%]) patients underwent ECMO over the 30 days following hospitalization. Use of ECMO was more common among patients who were younger, male, and with fewer comorbidities. Tracheostomy was broadly used for a similar proportion of patients regardless of age, sex, or comorbidity. While dialysis was generally used for a similar proportion among younger and older patients, it was more frequent among male patients and among those with chronic kidney disease.

Conclusion: Use of dialysis among those hospitalized with COVID-19 is high at around 4%. Although less than one percent of patients undergo tracheostomy and ECMO, the absolute numbers of patients who have undergone these interventions is substantial.

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  • Preprint