A SIMPLE, HOME-THERAPY ALGORITHM TO PREVENT HOSPITALIZATION FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS: A RETROSPECTIVE OBSERVATIONAL MATCHED-COHORT STUDY
Maria Vittoria Paganini,
Posted 26 Mar 2021
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.25.21254296
Posted 26 Mar 2021
Background. Effective simple, home-treatment algorithms implemented on the basis of a pathophysiologic and pharmacologic rationale to accelerate recovery and prevent hospitalization of patients with early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) would have major implications for patients and health care providers. Methods. This academic, matched-cohort study compared outcomes of 90 consecutive consenting patients with mild COVID-19 treated at home by their family physicians from October 2020 to January 2021 according to the proposed recommendation algorithm with those of 90 age-, sex-, and comorbidities- matched patients who received other therapeutic regimens. Primary outcome was time to resolution of major symptoms. Secondary outcomes included prevention of hospitalization. Analyses were by intention-to-treat. Findings. All patients achieved complete remission. The median [IQR] time to resolution of major symptoms was 18 [14-23] days in the recommended schedule cohort and 14 [7-30] days in the matched control cohort (p=0.033). Minor symptoms persisted in a lower percentage of patients in the recommended than in the control cohort (23.3% versus 73.3%, respectively, p<0.0001) and for a shorter period (p=0.0107). Two patients in the recommended cohort were hospitalized compared to 13 (14.4%) controls (Log-rank test, p=0.0038). Prevention algorithm abated the days and cumulative costs of hospitalization by >90% (from 481 to 44 days and from 296 to 28 thousand Euros, respectively. 1.2 patients had to be treated to save one hospitalization event. Interpretation. Implementation of an early, home-treatment algorithm failed to accelerate recovery from major symptoms of COVID-19, but almost blunted the risk of hospitalization and related treatment costs.
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