'One-in-three': Morbid statistic emerges from virus-hit state

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Staggering results from a study of hospitalised Covid-19 patients in the US has found one in three of them died while in hospital or within 60 days of being discharged.

The study conducted in Michigan, and published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, looked at 38 hospitals in the state.

In total, 1648 patients were observed.

“Of 1648 patients with COVID-19 admitted to 38 hospitals, 398 (24.2 per cent) died during hospitalisation and 1250 (75.8 per cent) survived,” researchers wrote.

“Of 1250 patients discharged alive, 975 (78.0 per cent) went home whereas 158 (12.6 per cent) were discharged to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility.”

A medical staff member treats a patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
A patient receives treatment in an ICU unit in Texas. Source: Getty Images

Researchers continued monitoring those who had been discharged for 60 days afterwards.

“By 60 days after discharge, an additional 84 patients (6.7 per cent of hospital survivors and 10.4 per cent of intensive care unit [ICU]-treated hospital survivors) had died, bringing the overall mortality rate for the cohort to 29.2 per cent, and 63.5 per cent for the 405 patients who received treatment in an ICU,” researchers wrote.

“Within 60 days of discharge, 189 patients (15.1 per cent of hospital survivors) were rehospitalised.”

The alarming mortality rate paints part of the picture in Michigan after Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced high schools and colleges to stop in-person classes, closed restaurants to indoor dining and suspended organised sports — including the football playoffs — in a bid to curb the state’s spiking coronavirus cases.

A nurse holds a swabs and test tube kit to test people for COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the new coronavirus, at a drive through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan.
A nurse holds a Covid test outside Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. Source: AAP

The restrictions will begin Wednesday and last three weeks.

“The situation has never been more dire. We are at the precipice and we need to take some action,” Ms Whitmer said at an evening news conference.

Researchers also noted that of the 488 patients they were able to contact after the 60 days on from leaving hospital, 159 said they still had a cough “including 92 with new or worsening symptoms and 65 with persistent loss of taste or smell”.

“Fifty-eight patients reported new or worsening difficulty completing activities of daily living. Among 195 patients who were employed before hospitalisation, 117 had returned to work whereas 78 could not because of ongoing health issues or job loss,” researchers wrote.

“Of the 117 patients who returned to work, 30 reported reduced hours or modified duties due to health reasons.”

with The Associated Press

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