Even in Type 1 Diabetes, COVID-19 Can Be Managed at Home
Overall, 34.9% of patients were able to manage COVID-19 entirely at home, with 27.3% of the confirmed and 43.3% of the suspected cases able to do so.
At the other extreme, 22.2% of patients overall were admitted to the intensive care unit; 30.3% of the confirmed versus 13.3% of suspected cases.
Including the small proportion of patients sent home after being seen in emergency or urgent care, overall roughly half were not admitted to hospital.
“Interestingly, even in this preliminary study, half were managed at home via telemedicine with an endocrinologist and infectious disease specialist. ... I think it continues to be a case-by-case clinical decision between the patient and their provider,” Ebekozien said.
“But, we’re seeing a good number of patients who are managed at home and the symptoms resolve in a week or two, and the illness runs its course, and they don’t have to even be seen,” he added.
The research team is also collecting data on barriers to remote care, including challenges with telemedicine and how frontline providers are navigating them.
“Those are all things that our future paper will be able to shed more light on,” he explained.
Endocrinologists around the country are invited to report cases of COVID-19 in patients with type 1 diabetes to the T1D Exchange by emailing [email protected].
And in fact, Ebekozien also requested that clinicians with a large type 1 diabetes population also report if they’ve had no COVID-19 cases.
“Even if they haven’t had a case, that’s very useful information for us to know. One of the things we want to calculate down the line is the incidence ratio. Not all participating sites have had a case.”
Endocrinologists from all the participating sites have formed a dedicated community that meets regularly via webinars to share information, he noted. “It’s been a very selfless effort to work collaboratively as a community to quickly answer critical questions.”
The Helmsley Charitable Trust funds the T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative. The T1D Exchange received financial support for this study from Abbott Diabetes, Dexcom, JDRF, Insulet Corporation, Lilly, Medtronic, and Tandem Diabetes Care. No other relevant financial relationships were reported.
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