A preliminary study carried out in Canarian public hospitals has determined the association between a high level of variability of the Red blood cells and the mortality in covid-19 patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU).

The work, coordinated by the Canary Islands University Hospital (HUC) and in which 8 ICUs from the archipelago’s public hospitals have participated, has been published in the scientific journal Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine.

The results of this study provide new information on the ability to predict mortality in patients with covid-19, the HUC has reported in a statement.

For the intensivist and coordinator of the study, Leonardo Lorente, “this multicenter study could help in predicting the risk of death in patients with covid-19 and in optimizing the use of resources sanitary “.

The study determines that a increased variability of red blood cells in volume and size it is associated with higher mortality in patients.

The association between greater red blood cell variability and mortality in septic patients is known, but so far the association between greater red blood cell variability and mortality from covid-19 has not been reported.

To determine if this association exists, a prospective observational analysis has been carried out in 143 patients with covid-19 in which the variability of red blood cells in volume and size at the time of admission and mortality at 30 days has been recorded.

Non-surviving patients show greater variability of red blood cells in volume and size upon admission to the ICU than do survivors.

Therefore, there is an association between high red blood cell variability and mortality in this disease, the study concludes.

The high level of variability of red blood cells is a good indicator to predict 30-day motility, similar to other severity scores, but easier and faster to obtain, since it is a laboratory parameter that is automatically provided in a conventional blood count.

The participating ICUs are those of the HUC, Our Lady of Candelaria University Hospital, Dr. Negrín University Hospital, Maternal-Infant Insular University Hospital Complex, José Molina Orosa Hospital in Lanzarote and La Palma General Hospital.