COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus infections/diagnosis; coronavirus infections/complications; biomarkers/blood; clinical characteristics; pandemics; retrospective studies


Emergency Medicine | Infectious Disease



The coronavirus infection (COVID-19), also known as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), caused significant illness and a worldwide pandemic beginning in 2020. Early case reports showed common patient characteristics, clinical variables and laboratory values in these patients. We compared a large population of American COVID-19 patients to see if they had similar findings to these smaller reports. In addition, we examined our population to identify any differences between mild or severe COVID-19 infections.


We retrospectively accessed a de-identified, multi-hospital database managed by HCA Healthcare to identify all adult emergency department (ED) patients that were tested for COVID-19 from January 1st, 2020–April 30th, 2020. We collected clinical variables, comorbidities and laboratory values to identify any differences in those with or without a SARS-CoV-2 infection.


We identified 44,807 patients who were tested for SARS-CoV-2. Of those patients, 6,158 were positive for COVID-19. Male patients were more likely to test positive than female ones (15.0% vs. 12.6%, p < 0.001). The most frequently positive tests occurred in age groups 40–49, 50–59 and 60–69 (16.9%, 15.3% and 14.1% respectively). Both African Americans (20.2%) and Hispanics (20.8%) were more likely to test positive than Caucasians (8.3%, p < 0.001). Hypertension and diabetes were more common in those with positive tests, and multiple laboratory biomarkers showed significant differences in severe infections.


This broad cohort of American COVID-19 patients showed similar trends in gender, age groups and race/ethnicity as previously reported. Severe COVID-19 disease was also associated with many positive laboratory biomarkers.