The study Survival rates and long-term outcomes for patients with COVID-19 admitted to Norwegian ICUs has two different aims. The first aim was to synthesis data from a National register (Norwegian Intensive care-and Pandemic register) on all COVID-19 patients in Norway admitted to an ICU.
Results from the first wave of the pandemic (March 2020-Juni 2020) has been published and showed that the ICU mortality of the Norwegian COVID-19 population admitted to ICU were at 18 %, and age above 65 was the highest risk factor for death in that population. The majority of the admitted patients were male (75%) and had a very long ICU stay (median=14 days). The mortality numbers are much lower that was first published in early reports from other countries (China, Italy, US). We are now in the process of analyzing data from wave to and three of the pandemic (until July/august 2021), and the results will be published in early spring 2022.
The second part of the study is a follow-up study of the ICU survivors during the first year after ICU admission. These data are collected 6 and 12 months after the ICU admission and have some natural drop-outs due to, death, no permanent address in Norway, do not speak or read Norwegian, or do not want to participate. The response-rate in the follow-up study is between 50-60 %, which are considered acceptable. We have investigated the level of post-traumatic stress symptoms in survivors from the first wave, as well as their level of anxiety and depression, and cognitive function. These results will be submitted for publication during December 2021 and can therefore not be presented.
The study will be conducted as a collaborative study between Norwegian Intensive Care Register (NIR) and Oslo University Hospital. The study will explore and describe the Norwegian ICU-population with COVID-19. NIR is one of several national quality registries in the Norwegian health care system. Registration is mandatory for all ICU-admissions fulfilling specific criteria. This will increase the generalizability of the results. The data collected during the COVID-19 epidemic may also be compared to existing NIR data, particularly those obtained from previously registered influenza patients, to identify similarities and discrepancies in the management and outcomes in these groups of patients.
Respiratory failure is the main cause of ICU-admission for COVID-19 patients. The present project will also collect follow-up data from the NIR registry for all survivors of COVID-19. The negative consequences of surviving an ICU stay has received increased attention in recent years, as decreased mortality rates have contributed to a high number of ICU survivors. It has been reported that survivors of ARF of any aetiology report substantial impairment in physical functioning and quality of life (QOL) up to 5 years after ICU discharge.
The one-year follow-up study will include questionnaires that captures physical, psychological and mental health related challenges occurring after ICU treatment.