|The prevalence of chest x-ray changes in patients admitted to the University of Limerick Hospitals Group during the first wave of Covid-19
|G Bennett B Okpaje MK Rana S Shahsavari A Farrell TK Teoh A O’Brien
|University Hospital Limerick
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|The Covid-19 pandemic is a serious healthcare burden for Ireland and has led to significant morbidity and mortality. Many patients present with infiltrates/consolidation on imaging which requires a follow up chest x-ray(cxr) to investigate for any underlying malignancy. In this audit patients with a positive covid-19 swab received by the University Hospital Limerick microbiology laboratory were examined.
The microbiology department provided a list of positive cases from the first wave of Covid-19 (March 1st until May 31st 2020). Patients with cxr infiltrates during the acute phase of Covid-19 (until 14 days post positive swab result) were examined to determine if follow up imaging (up to 6 months post positive swab) showed resolution of these infiltrates.
50.8%(231/455) patients with a covid positive swab were admitted or presented to the Emergency Department. Of these 210 had a chest cxr and 60%(126/210) had infiltrates. The majority of follow up cxrs were reported as clear, however changes persisted in 15.9%(20/126) patients and worryingly 21.4%(27/126) had no follow up cxr.
A significant number of patients testing positive for Covid-19 present with cxr changes. Our study highlights an important finding, that many patients with infiltrates on imaging are discharged without a follow up cxr arranged.