Characteristics of the First 102 Severe COVID-19 Cases Treated With Convalescent Plasma or Tocilizumab or Both in Al-Nahdha Hospital, Oman

Health Serv Res Manag Epidemiol. 2021 Feb 10;8:2333392820986639. doi: 10.1177/2333392820986639. eCollection Jan-Dec 2021.


Background: In the absence of an effective vaccine, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to cause more deaths. Evidence on the effectiveness of various COVID-19 management plans is inconclusive. This paper describes the characteristics of the first 102 severe COVID-19 in-patients treated with Convalescent Plasma (CP) therapy or Tocilizumab or both at Al-Nahdha hospital in Muscat, Oman. Additionally, differences in requiring critical care were explored across the treatment groups.

Methods: Data of all the positive cases in Al-Nahdha hospital were retrieved from the electronic health information system retrospectively from April 1st to July 31st 2020. The required information was recorded in a bespoke sheet and exported to SPSS for further analysis. The primary outcome was defined as improved (discharged home) vs worsening (requiring critical care).

Results: Out of the 102 severe cases of COVID-19 admissions, 20.6%, 59.8% and 20.6% received CP, Tocilizumab and both respectively. In average, CP was introduced at day 3.7(4.8) whereas Tocilizumab at day 7.8(5.1) from admission. The between-group differences in the proportion of patient who improved vs worsened were not significant (P = 0.7). However, the within-group difference in the proportion of patient who improved vs worsened was significant in the Tocilizumab treatment group (P = 0.03). All socio-demographics were not significantly different across the treatment groups. Most improvements in the studies parameters [CBC (total WBC, Lymph and neutrophil counts), oxygen and immune response "cytokine storm" parameters] post-treatment was attributed to the use of Tocilizumab. There was a statistically significant difference in the mean hospital stay between the improved and worsened cases across all treatment categories [at the population level: 8.2(5.0) improved vs 4.7(3.7) worsened-P < 0.001].

Conclusions: Results from this study provided baseline information about the characteristics of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Al-Nahdha hospital who received CP, Tocilizumab or both. Results obtained seems to be promising in preventing critical care, especially for Tocilizumab. However, further randomized studies are needed.

Keywords: Covid-19; Oman; characteristics; clinical; convalescent plasma; tocilizumab.