Characteristics and Outcomes of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Patients Admitted to an Intensive Care Unit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

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Background:An increasing number of patients are being infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) since the first case was identified in September 2012. We report the characteristics and outcomes of MERS-CoV-confirmed patients who developed critical illness requiring admission to an intensive care unit (ICU).Methods:We conducted a prospective cohort study of all MERS-CoV-confirmed cases who were admitted to our ICU from March 20, 2014, till June 1, 2014. Presenting symptoms, comorbid conditions, and details of their ICU stay were recorded.Results:Eight patients were admitted to the ICU with MERS-CoV infection. All had signs of respiratory distress with 7 requiring mechanical ventilation. Three patients were health care workers. In all, 6 patients had comorbid conditions and 5 patients developed multiorgan system failure (MOSF). In all, 5 patients expired, 2 were discharged alive, and 1 remained intubated at the end of the study period.Conclusions:Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus carries a high mortality rate in patients who require ICU admission, with a significant number of patients developing MOSF. Further investigation is needed to determine optimal management guidelines for these patients.

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