Experts have warned that chances of surviving COVID-19 infection might be slim for anyone who contracts the virus and needs hospitalisation at this time.
They say this is because survival depends on how full the hospitals are.
According to two researchers Dr. David Asch and Dr. Rachel Werner, who published their opinion in USA Today, a new study of 955 hospitals and more than 35,000 patients across America showed that 11.8 percent of adults hospitalised with COVID-19 died within 30 days.
“This is at least four times higher than your likelihood of dying if you’re hospitalised with influenza, which is closer to three percent,” the researchers warned.
Asch and Werner are physicians at the University of Pennsylvania.
Their observation is also supported by a research published in Pan African Medical Journal by Temiloluwa Abikoye, who noted that the combined effects of the reduced accessibility to clinical/laboratory services, insufficient infrastructure for effective telehealth service delivery and the difficulty in facilitating inter-practice medical consultations have negatively impacted health care delivery to, and the eventual outcomes of, patients with non-COVID-19-related health problems.
The American researchers noted that medical advances are helping and that a patient’s likelihood of dying of COVID-19 has gone down over time.
“If you were hospitalised with COVID-19 in the early part of the pandemic, between January and April, you had a 17 percent chance of dying. But if you were hospitalised between May and June, your risk of death went down to nine percent.
“This is because we’ve learned a lot about how to take care of patients with COVID-19, and we’re better at it. We have new treatments, new drugs. It is a wonderful story of rapid medical advances,” Asch and Werner wrote in the publication.
As the world combats second-wave COVID-19 infections, however, the physicians warned that during a surge in COVID-19 cases, a patient’s chance of dying is even higher.
“We found that hospitals located in counties where COVID-19 case rates surged over time had worse outcomes.
“On the other hand, hospitals located in counties where case rates went down had the largest improvements in survival,” they said.
Adducing reasons for this, the researchers, who also work with the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, said, “It’s an intuitively easy finding to understand: Hospitals become strained when there are high rates of COVID-19 in their communities.”
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Tuesday warned that the nation might experience a surge in COVID-19 transmission in January if people continue to neglect non-pharmaceutical protocols of preventing the contagion.
This is even as the Nigerian Medical Association reported deaths of 20 doctors who contracted the virus in the line of duty within a week, with the Federal Capital Territory also announcing deaths of two doctors earlier this week.
Meanwhile, the American researchers Asch and Werner warned that as COVID-19 cases increase, COVID-19 deaths will increase.
“Our findings suggest that the rising number of cases will also result in rising mortality rates — an increased likelihood that any given person with COVID-19 will be more likely to die.
“Each person admitted to the hospital will face an even greater risk of death because there is just more COVID-19 in the community and more patients in the hospitals.
“Some of the gains we’ve made in treating patients with COVID-19 will be lost,” they warned.
While warning that exposing others to risk is a crime, the researchers said, “Now is the time to double down on the measures that protect us from getting and transmitting this disease — mask up, stay home, wash your hands.
“Our hospitals are full of heroic workers, but we all need to do our part to keep communities safe and case rates down. That way, if you do unfortunately get COVID-19 and need to be hospitalised, you have a better chance of surviving.”
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