HealthDay News — The intensive care unit (ICU) mortality from COVID-19 is lower than initially thought, with a combined mortality of 41.6% based on 24 studies, according to a review published online in Anaesthesia.

Richard A. Armstrong, MBBS, from Severn Deanery in Bristol, England, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine ICU mortality among patients with confirmed COVID-19. Data were included from 24 observational studies with 10,150 patients identified from centers across Asia, Europe, and North America.

The researchers found that ICU mortality varied from 0% to 84.6% among studies. Outcome data for all patients were reported in 7 studies. In the remaining studies, there was variation in the proportion of patients discharged from the ICU at the point of reporting from 24.5% to 97.2%. The combined ICU mortality was 41.6% in COVID-19 patients with completed ICU admissions. Mortality was broadly consistent across the globe in a subgroup analysis by continent. The reported mortality rates decreased from greater than 50% to close to 40% as the pandemic progressed.

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“There were no significant effects of geographical location, but reported ICU mortality fell over time. Optimistically, countries in the later phase of the pandemic may be coping better with COVID-19,” the authors write. “Our analysis is reassuring in that in-ICU mortality is lower than early reports suggested.”

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