The purpose of this survey is to explore changes in the management of COVID-19 during the first versus the second wave, with particular emphasis on therapies, antibiotic prescriptions, and elderly care. An internet-based questionnaire survey was distributed to European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) members. Therapeutic approach to patients with mild-to-moderate (PiO2/FiO2 200–350) and severe (PiO2/FiO2 < 200) COVID-19, antibiotic use, and reasons for excluding patients from the intensive care unit (ICU) were investigated. A total of 463 from 21 countries participated in the study. Most representatives were infectious disease specialists (68.3%). During the second wave of pandemic, physicians abandoned the use of hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, and azithromycin in favor of dexamethasone, low-molecular weight heparin (LMWH), and remdesivir in mild-to-moderate COVID-19. In critically ill patients, we detected an increased use of high-dose steroids (51%) and a decrease in tocilizumab use. The use of antibiotics at hospital admission decreased but remained high in the second wave. Age was reported to be a main consideration for exclusion of patients from ICU care by 25% of responders; a third reported that elderly were not candidates for ICU admission in their center. The decision to exclude patients from ICU care was based on the individual decision of an intensivist in 59.6% of cases. The approach of physicians to COVID-19 changed over time following evidence accumulation and guidelines. Antibiotic use at hospital admission and decision to exclude patients from ICU care remain critical aspects that should be better investigated and harmonized among clinicians.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases|
|State||Published - Feb 2022|
- Intensive care unit
- Long COVID