Background Rapid deterioration of oxygenation occurs in novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and prediction of mechanical ventilation (MV) is needed for allocation of patients to intensive care unit. Since intubation is usually decided based on varying clinical conditions, such as required oxygen changes, we aimed to elucidate thresholds of increase in oxygen demand to predict MV use within 12 h. Methods A single-center retrospective cohort study using data between January 2020 and January 2021was conducted. Data were retrieved from the hospital data warehouse. Adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19 with a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) who needed oxygen during admission were included. Hourly increments in oxygen demand were calculated using two consecutive oxygen values. Covariates were selected from measurements at the closest time points of oxygen data. Prediction of MV use within 12 h by required oxygen changes was evaluated with the area under the receiver operating curves (AUCs). A threshold for increased MV use risk was obtained from restricted cubic spline curves. Results Among 66 eligible patients, 1835 oxygen data were analyzed. The AUC was 0.756 for predicting MV by oxygen demand changes, 0.888 by both amounts and changes in oxygen, and 0.933 by the model adjusted with respiratory rate, PCR quantification cycle (Ct), and days from PCR. The threshold of increments of required oxygen was identified as 0.44 L/ min/h and the probability of MV use linearly increased afterward. In subgroup analyses, the threshold was lower (0.25 L/min/h) when tachypnea or frequent respiratory distress existed, whereas it was higher (1.00 L/min/h) when viral load is low (Ct ≥20 or days from PCR >7 days). Conclusions Hourly changes in oxygen demand predicted MV use within 12 h, with a threshold of 0.44 L/ min/h. This threshold was lower with an unstable respiratory condition and higher with a low viral load.
ASJC Scopus subject areas