Five weeks after the onset of the crisis, an article published in the journal JAMA on the largest health system in New York State suggests a reality that, like so many other things about the new coronavirus, confuses our first expectations
The researchers found that 20% of all people hospitalized died – a finding similar to the percentage of people who perish under normal circumstances among those admitted for respiratory distress.
But the figures diverge more for critically ill fans. Eighty-eight percent of the 320 covid-19 ventilator patients followed in the study died. This compares to about 80% of patients who died on ventilation before the pandemic, according to previous studies – and the death rate of about 50% that some ICU doctors hoped optimistically when diagnosing the first cases.
“For those with a course severe enough to require emergency hospital admission, that is a sad number,” said Karina W. Davidson, lead author of the study and professor at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell.
The analysis is the largest and most comprehensive of the results in the United States to be published to date. Researchers reviewed the electronic medical records of 5,700 patients infected with covid-19 between March 1 and April 4 who were treated at 12 Northwell Health hospitals located in New York, Long Island and Westchester County – all epicenters of the epidemic. Sixty percent were men, 40 percent were women, and the average age was 63 years old.
“It is important to look at the US data because we have different resources in our health care system and different demographics in our populations,” said Davidson.
The document also found that of those who died, 57% had hypertension, 41% were obese and 34% had diabetes, which matches the risk factors listed by the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention. Asthma was notably absent from the top of the list. As doctors and researchers have learned more about covid-19, the less likely it is that asthma plays a dominant role in the results. In fact, only nine asthma patients were hospitalized in Northwell for the virus.
Another surprising finding from the study was that 30% of patients who were sick enough to be admitted to the hospital did not have a fever. Fever is currently listed as the primary symptom of covid-19 by the CDC, and for weeks many virus testing centers have refused patients if they did not have them.
Davidson said that because of these results, Northwell encourages people with underlying health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, who are potentially exposed to the virus and who may not have a fever, to seek medical attention. doctor sooner than later.