Mortality of mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients is lower than previously reported reveals study in Critical Care Medicine


June 4, 2020 – An online first study published in Critical Care Medicine indicates the actual mortality rate of adults with critical illness from COVID-19 is less than what was previously reported. Compared to earlier reports of a 50 percent mortality rate, the study finds that the mortality rate of critically ill patients who required mechanical ventilation was only 35.7 percent. About 60 percent of patients observed in the study survived to hospital discharge.

The study observed patients 18 years and older from six COVID-19 designated intensive care units in three hospitals in Atlanta, Ga. from March to April 2020. The authors note that several considerations may have influenced the outcomes of the study including that all critically ill patients with COVID-19 in the hospital network were admitted to pre-existing ICUs that had adequate staffing ratios and equipment.

An accompanying online first editorial examines the role of mainstream and social media in creating the narrative that intubation and mechanical ventilation were “the cause of suboptimal outcomes” for critically ill COVID-19 patients, without accounting for hospital staffing and equipment shortages.


Click here to read “ICU and ventilator mortality among critically ill adults with COVID-19.”

DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004457

Click here to read “Mechanical ventilation during the COVID-19 pandemic: combating the tsunami of misinformation from mainstream and social media.”

DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004462

Point of Contact:

David J. Murphy, MD, PhD, Emory Critical Care Center (ECCC); Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Department of Medicine, Emory; Office of Quality and Risk, Emory Healthcare; [email protected]; 404-686-7439

Richard H. Savel, MD, FCCM, Director, Adult Critical Care Service, Maimonides Medical Center; Professor of Clinical Medicine & Neurology, SUNY Downstate College of Medicine; [email protected]; 718-744-7658

About Critical Care Medicine

Critical Care Medicine is the premier peer-reviewed, scientific publication in critical care medicine. Directed to those specialists who treat patients in the intensive care unit and critical care unit, including chest physicians, surgeons, pediatricians, pharmacists, pharmacologists, anesthesiologists, critical care nurses, and other healthcare professionals, Critical Care Medicine covers all aspects of acute and emergency care for the critically ill or injured patient. Each issue presents critical care practitioners with clinical breakthroughs that lead to better patient care, the latest news on promising research, and advances in equipment and techniques. Follow @CritCareMed. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio in partnership with Wolters Kluwer.

Media Contact
Connie Hughes
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