Hundreds died because ICUs were full of Covid-19 patients: study
The coronavirus pandemic put thousands of people with other complaints in a worse position than they would have been. A few hundred more people died because they could not get intensive care, the collaborative quality register SKR concluded in a study on the impact of the pandemic on healthcare, AD reports.
The researchers studied the data of over 10 million patients in the Netherlands. Of the some 80 thousand patients who annually end up in the emergency room after an accident, like a fall at home, 2.4 percent died in 2018 and 2019. Last year, that increased to 2.9 percent. "On the basis of this, we conclude that the enormous scarcity of ICU beds and the choices made on it have led to patient selection with adverse consequences. It is a bold conclusion, but this means that 400 more patients died in corona time," the researchers said.
The effect of postponing organ transplants during the coronavirus crisis must still be seen. Transplants were halted during the first wave of the pandemic, based on the thought that this would pose a smaller risk than contamination with the coronavirus. But it is now clear that kidney patients on dialysis ran a very high risk of becoming seriously ill from Covid-19. A quarter of dialysis patients who got Covid-19 died from the disease. Of the total number of dialysis patients, 20 percent died last year. That amounts to 1,270 deaths, 15 percent more than previous years.
There are also concerns about the effects of delayed care. For example, 2 thousand fewer complex cancer surgeries were done last year - 11 percent less than the previous years. This can partly be attributed to cancer screenings being halted in the first wave.