A new UK study reports that almost 30% of patients who recovered from coronavirus will return to the hospital within five months. Up to 12% of recovered COVID-19 patients die of complications from the illness.
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Researchers from the UK’s Leicester University and the Office for National Statistics found out that among the 47,780 people discharged from the hospital, 29.4% returned for readmission within 140 days. Surprisingly, 12.3% of recovered COVID-19 patients die within five months. The mean age among the study participants is 65 years. This is the largest study of discharged COVID-19 survivors.
Respiratory and Organ Issues
After discharge, 14,140 patients developed a respiratory disease. 6.085 of those have no prior history of lung problems. In addition, people who went through the long-lasting effects of the coronavirus develop heart problems, diabetes, and chronic liver and kidney conditions, according to the report.
Also, research showed that COVID-19 patients younger than 70 and those belonging to ethnic minorities developed a higher risk of problems in various organs after their discharge. “People seem to be going home, getting long-term effects, coming back in and dying. We see nearly 30 percent have been readmitted, and that’s a lot of people. The numbers are so large,” Kamlesh Khunti, the study author reported.
Prepare for long COVID
“The message here is we really need to prepare for long COVID. It’s a mammoth task to follow up with these patients and the NHS is really pushed at the moment, but some sort of monitoring needs to be arranged,” added Khunti. The author is a professor of primary care diabetes and vascular medicine at Leicester University.
Compared to other outpatients, COVID-19 survivors are 3½ times more likely to return to the hospital. They are also 3½ times more likely to die within 140 days compared to other outpatients.
The fact that many COVID-19 patients returned to the hospital for readmission with a new diagnosis surprised researchers. In many cases, patients developed further complications. ‘We don’t know if it’s because Covid destroyed the beta cells which make insulin and you get Type 1 diabetes, or whether it causes insulin resistance, and you develop Type 2, but we are seeing these surprising new diagnoses of diabetes,’ Khunti noted.
The UK government currently lists death as Covid-related if the patient dies within 28 days after registering positive. However, the real death toll might climb much higher if they include COVID-19 survivors who return to hospitals with serious health problems months after discharge. In December, the Office of National Statistics estimated that 10% of people who caught coronavirus went to suffer long COVID. Common symptoms of long COVID include extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, and problems with memory and concentration. Symptoms last for three months or more.
Vaccines Crucial Even To Those Under 70 years
Conventional wisdom believes that the elderly should get priority for vaccines due to their heightened risk. However, the study showed that adults of other ages should get the vaccine as soon as possible.
Adults below 70 years who contracted coronavirus have 14 times higher risk of dying compared to adults who didn’t. Also, readmission rates shot up four times more. However, risks remain the greatest for those over 70.
One COVID-19 Patient Every 30 Seconds
Christina Pagel, director of the clinical operational research unit at University College London, reacted to “such important work.” Pagel noted the pattern of returning COVID patients. “Covid is about so much more than death. A significant burden of long-term illness after hospitalization for Covid,’ she tweeted.
Meanwhile, National Health Services chief Sir Simon Stevens said new COVID-19 patients are overrunning UK hospitals. There is one new COVID19 patient every 30 seconds, and hospitals are seeing a huge increase in patients since Christmas. ‘The facts are very clear and I’m not going to sugar-coat them, hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure,” Simon said. A quarter of the admissions are people under 55 years of age. ‘Since Christmas Day we’ve seen another 15,000 increase in the in-patients in hospitals across England, that’s the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients. Staggeringly, every thirty seconds across England another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus,’ he rued.
Watch the AtoZ media report detailing a UK Study that said 1 in 8 recovered COVID patients dies within 5 months:
1 in 8 Recovered COVID-19 patients die within five months
Do you agree that COVID-19 increases the chances of complications down the road? Do you have a coronavirus story to share? Have you experienced a family member or a loved one who developed long COVID, or who had to return to the hospital? Share your coronavirus stories below in the comment section.