A Study of Red Blood Cell Indices among Covid 19 Individuals in Tertiary Care Triage Centre
Keywords:COVID severity, Red cell indices, RDW, Triage OPD
Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection is characterized by the development and progression of inflammatory
responses. The exploration of prognostic predictors for patients with COVID-19 is vital for prompt clinical
intervention. Our study aims to explore the predictive value of hematological parameters in categorization
of patients with COVID-19.We aimed to investigate associations between hematological parameters and
disease severity in patients with SARS-CoV-2infection.The red blood cell distribution width (RDW),
an indicator of anisocytosis has emerged as a potential tool for risk stratification of critically ill patients.
Materials and Methods: Retrospective study after getting approval from Institutional ethics committee
was performed with data obtained from triage OPD in Chengalpattu Medical College & Hospital. The
demographic, clinical, laboratory profile of COVID 19 positive patients who attended Triage OPD for a
period of one month were collected. 3000 RT-PCR confirmed COVID positive patients of age group 20
to 70 years of both genders were included in the study. COVID 19 positive paediatric cases, antenatal and
postnatal mothers, postoperative cases and sick cases admitted in COVID ICU were excluded from the
study. Symptoms, associated co-morbidities and severity of COVID 19 were tabulated. Complete Blood
Count measured by Automated Sysmex Analyser at the time of reporting to triage was noted. Red blood
cell indices were analysed using SPSS 21.0 version. Results: There was statistically significant increase in
RDW and decrease in MCV among patients with co-morbidity and severe illness compared to those with
mild disease. There is no statistically significant difference in Red blood cell indices between patients with
and without symptoms and patients without co-morbidities. Conclusion: RDW was found to be a screening
tool to identify patients with severe COVID-19 and the results of this study suggest that RDW should be part
of routine laboratory assessment and monitoring of COVID-19.
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