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Covid patients die despite ventilation

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Doctors and nurses wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits look after a COVID-19 coronavirus patient at the Intensive Care Unit of the Sharda Hospital, in Greater Noida, India on July 15, 2020. AFP

Covid patients die despite ventilation

One in five patients hospitalised in Germany for the novel coronavirus succumbed to the disease, with the fatality rate rising to 53 per cent for those who received ventilation, a study showed on Wednesday.

Data of 10,000 patients admitted to 930 German hospitals between February 26 and April 19 were analysed by the German Interdisciplinary Association of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, the Technical University of Berlin and AOK health insurance group’s research arm WIdO.

Hospitalised male patients had a higher mortality rate than women, with 25 per cent compared to 19 per cent.

Older patients were also significantly more vulnerable, as 27 per cent of patients in their 70s died while 38 per cent of those above 80 years old failed to pull through.

“These high mortality rates clearly show that a relatively high number of patients with a very serious course of disease were treated in hospitals,” said Juergen Klauber, director of WIdO.

“Such serious course of diseases mainly affect older people and people whose health is already compromised, but also occur in younger patients,” he warned, urging the population to take necessary precautions to prevent new infections.

Of the 10,021 patients, 1,727 were given mechanical ventilation. While almost twice as many who received ventilation were men, the mortality rates were similar gender-wise, the study said.

Patients were staying in hospitals for an average of 14 days, 'with those not on ventilation hospitalised for an average of 12 days while the duration for those who needed help breathing rose to 25 days.

Reinhard Busse, professor of healthcare management at TU Berlin, noted that on average, 240 days of ventilation would be required for every 100 hospitalised patients.

“These are important numbers to prepare for a second wave of the pandemic. However, we do not anticipate any problems with normal hospital beds, even with high infection rates,” he added.

Thanks to its decentralised healthcare system, Germany has been able to significantly ramp up its capacity to treat Covid-19 patients, avoiding scenes like in Italy where some hospitals were overwhelmed by the sudden huge caseload.

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