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Evolution of outcomes for patients hospitalised during the first 9 months of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe

Lefrancq N, Paireau J, Hozé N, Courtejoie N, Yazdanpanah Y, Bouadmaeg L, Boëlle PY, Chereau F, Salje H, Cauchemez S

Background As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread, a thorough characterisation of healthcare needs and patient outcomes, and how they have changed over time, is essential to inform planning. Methods We developed a probabilistic framework to analyse detailed patient trajectories from 198,846 hospitalisations in France during the first nine months of the pandemic. Our model accounts for the varying age- and sex- distribution of patients, and explore changes in outcome probabilities as well as length of stay. Findings We found that there were marked changes in the age and sex of hospitalisations over the study period. In particular, the proportion of hospitalised individuals that were >80y varied between 27% and 48% over the course of the epidemic, and was lowest during the inter-peak period. The probability of hospitalised patients entering ICU dropped from 0·25 (0·24–0·26) to 0·13 (0·12–0·14) over the four first months as case numbers fell, before rising to 0·19 (0·19–0·20) during the second wave. The probability of death followed a similar trajectory, falling from 0·25 (0·24–0·26) to 0·10 (0·09–0·11) after the first wave before increasing again during the second wave to 0·19 (0·18–0·19). Overall, we find both the probability of death and the probability of entering ICU were significantly correlated with COVID-19 ICU occupancy. Interpretation There are large scale trends in patients outcomes by age, sex and over time. These need to be considered in ongoing healthcare planning efforts. More info at:

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