A study conducted in Sweden during the COVID-19 pandemic had some very interesting variables and outcomes. The study was performed in an acute care setting with geriatric patients with the goal of analyzing whether frailty and comorbidities are associated with in-hospital mortality and discharge to home. The COVID-19 diagnosis was clinically confirmed by positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test, or, if negative, by other methods.
The results of the study show that 76% of patients with COVID-19 survived, indicating that providing hospital level care to frail, older patients with COVID-19 is not futile. Although higher age is also associated with in-hospital mortality and decreased probability of discharged back to home in geriatric patients, including frailty and comorbidity assessments to the models improves their predictive accuracy. Therefore, such assessments can help to better identify older patients with COVID-19 who are at risk of adverse outcomes and, thus, in need of a more multi-dimensional care, both from an acute care as well as from a rehabilitation care perspective.
We will continue to see cases of COVID-19 until the vaccine is available to all centers and residents and staff agree to receive the vaccine. This study is interesting in that it shows that with appropriate, acute care, even frail seniors can weather the COVID-19 storm, but why should they! Let’s carry the torch, get the vaccine moving, encourage staff and residents to accept it, and look for the silver lining! Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, mask up and stay tuned!