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This article is the author's final published version in Acute and Critical Care, Volume 38, Issue 3, August 2023, Pages 298 - 307.

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Copyright © 2023 The Korean Society of Critical Care Medicine

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: There is increasing heterogeneity in the clinical phenotype of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19,) and reasons for mechanical ventilation are not limited to COVID pneumonia. We aimed to compare the characteristics and outcomes of intubated patients admitted to the ICU with the primary diagnosis of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF) from COVID-19 pneumonia to those patients admitted for an alternative diagnosis.

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of adults with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted to nine ICUs between March 18, 2020, and April 30, 2021, at an urban university institution. We compared characteristics between the two groups using appropriate statistics. We performed logistic regression to identify risk factors for death in the mechanically ventilated COVID-19 population.

RESULTS: After exclusions, the final sample consisted of 319 patients with respiratory failure secondary to COVID pneumonia and 150 patients intubated for alternative diagnoses. The former group had higher ICU and hospital mortality rates (57.7% vs. 36.7%, P

CONCLUSIONS: Mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients admitted to the ICU with COVID-19-associated respiratory failure are at higher risk of hospital death and have worse ICU utilization outcomes than those whose reason for admission is unrelated to COVID pneumonia.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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