BACKGROUND and AIM: COVID-19 shares similarities with lung diseases and causie difficulties in the management. The aim of this study is to describe demographic, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics of patients who admitted to the emergency department (ED) of a chest diseases hospital and how we managed these patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: ED admissions from March 11, 2020, to May 11, 2020 were retrospectively evaluated. Patients were divided into two groups as probable COVID-19 (P-COVID-19) and non-COVID-19. The data were analyzed and compared.
RESULTS: A total of 223 patients, of which 31.8% were P-COVID-19 and 68.2% were non-COVID-19, were included. The mean age was 49.14 ± 18.05 years in P-COVID-19 group and 59.17 ± 17.32 years in non-COVID-19 group (P < 0.001). The most common symptoms in all patients were dyspnea (26.5%) and cough (21.1%). In P-COVID-19 group, cough, dyspnea, and fever were the most common symptoms, and the presence of fever was statistically significantly higher (P = 0.03). Increased C-reactive protein, sedimentation, and D-dimer levels were observed in 61.5%, 70.9%, and 52.6% of patients, respectively. Laboratory findings showed no significant differences between two groups. All patients underwent chest X-ray examination and 42.6% of them had pathological findings. 56.3% of P-COVID-19 patients had normal chest X-rays. Bilateral involvement on HRCT was more frequent in P-COVID-19 group than non-COVID-19 group (47.8% vs. 36.7%, P < 0.001). The presence of ground-glass opacity (GGO) was statistically significantly higher in P-COVID-19 group (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The presence of fever and GGO with bilateral involvement on HRCT could be used for the early detection and triage of suspected patients in ED.