Introduction: Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) exposure in Denmark, first-line referral centres were established to handle all patients suspected of COVID-19 or other upper respiratory tract infection. Here we report the first experiences from a first-line referral centre from Amager-Hvidovre Hospital, situated on the outskirts of Copenhagen.
Methods: A retrospective quality assessment was performed with collection of symptom patterns and COVID-19 status.
Results: During the first 24 days, a total of 3,551 patients were referred for assessment of symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection and COVID-19. A total of 2,048 patients were assessed as having mild symptoms and referred for COVID-19 testing alone, whereas 337 patients were assessed clinically by a physician. Thirty-seven were positive for COVID-19 infection, 286 were negative. The most common symptoms reported were fever, coughing and dyspnoea. Fever was an independent predictor of COVID-19 infection (odds ratio (OR) = 2.25 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-5.04); p = 0.037); whereas sore throat was not (OR = 0.40 (95% CI: 0.15-0.92); p = 0.045). Only a small number of patients reported loss of taste or anosmia. In total, 113 patients were admitted to hospital, the majority of patients were discharged within 24 hours with mild symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections. Three of the COVID-19-positive patients developed a severe infection and two had a fatal outcome.
Conclusions: The present study is the first to report the experiences and symptom patterns of a COVID-19 first-line referral centre with efficient triage of patients in need of hospitalisation.
Trial Registration: not relevant.
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