Admission Code Status and End-of-life Care for Hospitalized Patients With COVID-19

the Society of Critical Care Medicine Discovery Viral Infection and Respiratory Illness Universal Study (VIRUS): COVID-19 Registry Investigator Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted variability in intensity of care. We aimed to characterize intensity of care among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Objectives: Examine the prevalence and predictors of admission code status, palliative care consultation, comfort-measures-only orders, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) among patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Methods: This cross-sectional study examined data from an international registry of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. A proportional odds model evaluated predictors of more aggressive code status (i.e., Full Code) vs. less (i.e., Do Not Resuscitate, DNR). Among decedents, logistic regression was used to identify predictors of palliative care consultation, comfort measures only, and CPR at time of death. Results: We included 29,923 patients across 179 sites. Among those with admission code status documented, Full Code was selected by 90% (n = 15,273). Adjusting for site, Full Code was more likely for patients who were of Black or Asian race (ORs 1.82, 95% CIs 1.5–2.19; 1.78, 1.15–3.09 respectively, relative to White race), Hispanic ethnicity (OR 1.89, CI 1.35–2.32), and male sex (OR 1.16, CI 1.0–1.33). Of the 4951 decedents, 29% received palliative care consultation, 59% transitioned to comfort measures only, and 29% received CPR, with non-White racial and ethnic groups less likely to receive comfort measures only and more likely to receive CPR. Conclusion: In this international cohort of patients with COVID-19, Full Code was the initial code status in the majority, and more likely among patients who were Black or Asian race, Hispanic ethnicity or male. These results provide direction for future studies to improve these disparities in care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pain and symptom management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • End of life
  • Palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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