Authors: Jouffroy R, Jost D, Prunet B

PMID: 32513249 PMCID: PMC7278215 doi: 10.1186/s13054-020-03036-9


The COVID-19 pandemic, which has been expanding since the first cases in Asia in late 2019, may result in acute respiratory failure (ARF) with severe hypoxemia [1–3]. In prehospital settings, the paucity of clinical respiratory signs has made assessing the severity of some COVID-19 patients challenging. Indeed, even though hypoxic ARF generally leads to an increase in respiratory rate (RR) [4], in some COVID-19 patients, a persistent normal RR was inconsistent with the severity of hypoxia.

Based on retrospective data, we aimed to describe the discrepancy between prehospital initial RR (RRi) and initial SpO2 (Spo2i; i.e., before oxygen supplementation, FiO2 = 21%) in COVID-19 patients suffering from ARF.

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV2, hypoxemia

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