Characteristics and Outcomes of COVID-19 Patients Admitted in the Medical ICU of a Tertiary Public Hospital in the Philippines during the First Two Months of being a COVID-19 Referral Center

  • Aprille Anne O. Octaviano
  • Blessie Marie B. Perez
  • Jubert P. Benedicto
Keywords: coronavirus, COVID-19, ICU, Philippines


Introduction. The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) began its operations as a COVID-19 referral center on March 30, 2020. Local studies reporting characteristics of patients in the intensive care units (ICUs) are lacking.

Objectives. 1) To describe the baseline characteristics and outcomes of the initial cohort of COVID-19 patients in the medical ICU. 2) To report the initial situation and strategies in the ICU during the first two months of being a COVID-19 referral center.

Methods. We conducted a review of records of all patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the medical ICU of UP-PGH between April 1 to May 31, 2020. Patient demographics, comorbidities, APACHE-II score, signs and symptoms, laboratory and radiologic results, respiratory and vasopressor support, and outcomes were collected.

Results. Out of 35 patients with confirmed COVID-19, majority were above 60 years old (63%). Hypertension was the most frequent comorbidity (77%). Fever was the most common symptom (51%). The mean duration of symptoms prior admission was 9 ± 7 days. Anemia and leukocytosis with neutrophilia was common. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (HSCRP) were elevated in most patients. Majority of patients (66%) had moderate level of hypoxemia on admission. Bilateral pneumonia on chest radiograph was found in 34 patients. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were the most commonly used drugs. A total of 24 patients (69%) required invasive mechanical ventilation while 15 (43%) needed pressor support. Twenty-two expired (63%) while thirteen (37%) patients were discharged from the medical ICU.

Conclusion. The clinical characteristics in our set of patients are consistent with other studies on critically ill patients. Mortality in the medical ICU was high.