Coronavirus mortality rate halved in hospitals during second wave
Hospitalized coronavirus patients were nearly fifty percent less likely to die during the second wave of coronavirus infections than during the first wave in the spring. This is stated by professor Menno Huisman in an interview for Nieuwsuur. “We discovered in our analyst overall, for all Covid-19 patients, both in the regular care hospital departments and intensive care units, the mortality rate dropped by half.”
One study gathered data in eight different Dutch hospitals from 579 coronavirus patients during the first wave and 947 in the second. The effects of Covid infections were compared and results showed that while in March nearly 15 percent of all admitted patients died, in September the mortality stayed at less than eight percent.
“The drop in mortality rates came as a big surprise to us. In the design of the study, we focused on investigating the thrombosis complications. While these continued to occur frequently, the analysis revealed that mortality rates were cut in half.”
Huisman attributes the lowered mortality thanks to the growing expertise in the field, resulting in better care for patients. The expert also thinks the medication dexamethasone which is given to some patients. “We think that the administration of the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone may have had a beneficial effect on survival.”
Dexamethasone helps prevent thrombosis, a condition where colts form in blood vessels and can block blood flow to vital organs such as the heart, brain and lungs. Researchers said they noticed that when coronavirus patients were administered the medicine at an early stage, patients were less likely to have fatal complications later on.
Huisman does warn that thrombosis can still occur, especially in ICU patients that are already in a more critical condition. “It can still happen that small thrombosis, common for the coronavirus, develops,” he told the television program.
Huisman says that the latest findings on mortality does not exclude that more research needs to be done to determine the long-term effects on patients. “We must be careful with the interpretation of this finding because we did not collect full follow-up data from every patient who was later enrolled in the study or transferred."