Comparison of 6-Month Outcomes of COVID-19 vs Non-COVID-19 Survivors of Critical Illness

COVID-Recovery Study Investigators and the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group

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RATIONALE: The outcomes of survivors of critical illness due to COVID-19 compared to non-COVID are yet to be established.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare new disability at 6-months in mechanically ventilated patients admitted to Australian intensive care units (ICUs) with COVID-19 compared to non-COVID-19.

METHODS: We included COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 critically ill patients from two prospective observational studies. Patients were eligible if they were adult (age ≥18 years) with over 24 hours of mechanical ventilation.

MEASUREMENTS: Demographic, intervention and hospital outcome data were obtained from electronic medical records. Survivors were contacted by telephone for functional outcomes with trained outcome assessors using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0.

MAIN RESULTS: Between 6 March 2020 and 21 April 2021, 120 critically ill patients with COVID-19 and between August 2017 and January 2019, 199 critically ill patients without COVID-19 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Patients with COVID-19 were older (62 (55-71) vs 58 (44-69), p=0.019) with a lower APACHE II (17 (13-20) vs 19 (15-23), p=0.011). While duration of ventilation was longer in patients with COVID-19 compared to without COVID-19 (12 days (5-19) vs 4.8 (2.3-8.8), p <0.001), 180-day mortality was similar between the groups (39/120 (32.5%) vs 70/199 (35.2%), p=0.715). The incidence of death or new disability at 180 days was similar (58/93 (62.4%) versus 99/150 (66/0%), p=0.583).

CONCLUSION: At 6-months there was no difference in new disability for patients requiring mechanical ventilation for acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19 compared to non-COVID-19. This article is open access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License 4.0 (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1168
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2022


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