A preliminary study conducted in public hospitals in the Canary Islands (Spain) determined the association between a high level of red blood cell variability and mortality in COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
The work, coordinated by the Canarias University Hospital (HUC) and in which 8 ICUs from public hospitals in the archipelago participated, was published in the scientific journal Anesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine.
The results of this study provide new information on the ability to predict mortality in patients with COVID-19, the HUC reported in a statement.
For intensivist and study coordinator Leonardo Lorente, “this multicenter study could help predict the risk of death in patients with covid-19 and optimize the use of healthcare resources.”
The study determines that greater variability of red blood cells in volume and size is associated with higher mortality in patients.
The association between greater red blood cell variability and mortality in septic patients is known, but so far the association between greater red blood cell variability and mortality from covid-19 has not been found. not reported.
To determine if this association exists, a prospective observational analysis was performed in 143 patients with covid-19 in whom the variability of red blood cells in volume and size at the time of admission and mortality at 30 days were recorded. .
Non-surviving patients have a greater variability of red blood cells in volume and size upon admission to the ICU than survivors.
Therefore, there is an association between the high variability of red blood cells and mortality in this disease, the study concludes.
The high level of red blood cell variability is a good indicator for predicting 30-day mortality, similar to other severity scores, but easier and faster to obtain, as it is a laboratory parameter that is supplied automatically in a conventional blood count.
The participating ICUs are those of HUC, Notre-Dame de Candelaria University Hospital, Dr. Negrín University Hospital, Island Maternal-Child University Hospital Complex, José Molina Orosa Hospital in Lanzarote and General Hospital of La Palma.