Original Article

COVID-19 in a Mississippi Community Hospital

Authors: Ijlal Babar, MD, Okechukwu Ekenna, MD, Maggie Ramsey Clarkson, MSN, Daralyn Boudreaux, MSN, William Bennett, MD, Randy Roth, MD


Objectives: Mississippi recorded the first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on March 11, 2020. This report describes the initial COVID-19 experience of the single healthcare system serving Jackson County, Mississippi. The intent of this retrospective review of COVID-19 hospitalized patients was to identify any characteristics or interventions amenable to improving care management and clinical outcomes for patients within our community hospital.

Methods: All hospitalized patients 18 years of age and older in our health system with positive tests for COVID-19 (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 [SARS CoV-2]) by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction between March 15 and April 10, 2020 are included in this retrospective observational report.

Results: During the study period, 158 patients of the 1384 tested (11.4%) were positive for COVID-19 infection. Of the 158 patients, 41 (26%) were hospitalized, with 17 (41%) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). The remaining 24 patients did not require ICU admission. The mean age of the 158 COVID-19-positive patients was 55 years (range 2–103). Obesity was noted in 68% of the hospitalized patients, including 13 (54%) of the non-ICU patients and 15 (88%) of the ICU patients. All 9 deceased patients were obese. Twelve of 17 patients received invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) and 3 patients received only high-flow nasal cannula oxygen. Only 25% (3 of 12) of the IMV patients were successfully extubated during the study period. The median duration on IMV was 17 days (range 4–35). The mortality in the 158 COVID-19-positive patients was 5.7% (9 of 158). None of the 24 non-ICU patients died. The ICU mortality rate was 53% (9 of 17).

Conclusions: This report describes a community hospital experience with COVID-19. Patient outcome was comparable to that reported at larger centers. Obesity was a major comorbidity and correlated with adverse outcomes. Amidst the initial wave of COVID-19 with high demand for inpatient treatment, it is reassuring that appropriate care can be provided in a community health system.
Posted in: Infectious Disease42

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Table 1. Demographic characteristics, exposures, and presenting symptoms of COVID-19-positive cases (N = 158), March 15–April 10, 2020

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Table 2. Hospitalized patients by site of care (non-ICU or ICU) and death, stratified by BMI level

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Table 3. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of hospitalized COVID-19 patients

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Table 4. Respiratory parameters and adjunct therapy in ICU patients

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