A team of researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital has detected changes in the electrical activity in the heart of the covid patients. This activity can be used to predict the death of the covid patients who are hospitalized. This biomarker is capable of predicting death quite a number of days in advance.
This can be used to best allocate the scarce resources when the hospital is swarming with the pandemic’s patients. Several blood-based biomarkers have been found that can predict this for doctors.
However, if this is done through blood tests, a lot of time is needed that. This method can be used through a simple electrocardiogram (EKG) machine. It has an accuracy of at least two days.
It was shown from previous records of health from 140 patients of covid-19 that diminishing QRS waveforms represented a patient declining in 74 percent of cases.
The method for determining this information is called LoQRS. The median time to death from the first LoQRS reading detected in the study was 52 hours.“Our study shows diminished waveforms on EKGs over the course of COVID-19 illness can be an important tool for health care workers caring for these patients, allowing them to catch rapid clinical changes over their hospital stay and intervene more quickly,” says Joshua Lampert, senior author on the new study. “With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continuing to rise again, EKGs may be helpful for hospitals to use when caring for these patients before their condition gets dramatically worse.”
Coincidentally, this method also predicted the circumstances for influenza patients. The median time to death from the first LoQRS measure in influenza patients was measured to be around six days. The researchers state that this shows how COVID-19 is more virulent than influenza.
It was stated by Lambert that EKG measurements must be taken for all COVID-19 patients when they are initially admitted.
“When it comes to caring for COVID-19 patients, our findings suggest it may be beneficial not only for health care providers to check an EKG when the patient first arrives at the hospital, but also follow-up EKGs during their hospital stay to assess for LoQRS, particularly if the patient has not made profound clinical progress,” says Lampert. “If LoQRS is present, the team may want to consider escalating medical therapy or transferring the patient to a highly monitored setting such as an intensive care unit (ICU) in anticipation of declining health.”
The new study was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.