INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been identified by the World Health Organization as a global pandemic . Poland introduced extensive anti-epidemic measures relatively early, in order to slow down the spread of the disease .
OBJECTIVES: The study aims at presenting recent data on COVID-19 hospitalization cases during the first months of this outbreak in Poland . PATIENTS AND
METHODS: The study is a retrospective, population-based study conducted using hospital discharge records that included a COVID-19 diagnosis . Data were obtained from the National Institute of Public Health, where they had been collected in a Polish hospital morbidity study . Data covered 8840 hospitalization records between February 2020 and September 2020 .
RESULTS: In the study group, we analyzed 8252 records of COVID-19 patients first-time hospitalizations, which accounted for 93% of all hospitalization cases . The study group consisted of 4161 males (50.4% of all patients) and 4091 females (49.6% of all patients). Significantly more patients from urban than rural regions were hospitalized (21.8 per 100,000 vs 20.5 per 100,000; P <0.02). In the period subject to analysis , 1073 in-hospital deaths were observed (13% of all patients), 965 of which occurred during the first-time hospitalizations (11.7% of all patients). In the study group patients with fatal hospitalizations in comparison to patients with non-fatal hospitalizations were significantly older, more frequently from urban areas, and they had more comorbidities .
CONCLUSIONS: The study findings, especially differences in patients with fatal and non-fatal hospitalizations, may be helpful in recognizing patients requiring special medical care and preventive measures during hospitalization.