Exeter research reveals death rate of critical COVID-19 patients has dropped by almost half
The number of people who die following hospitalisation from COVID-19 has dropped by almost half since the start of the pandemic, new research has revealed.
A new study from the University of Exeter found that death rates were highest in late March.
The analysis of over 21,000 hospital admissions revealed a significant drop in death rates for both high dependency unit admissions and intensive care admissions between March and the end of June.
While in late March 41 per cent of people admitted to intensive care passed away, by June that number had fallen to 21 per cent. The study also found that the death rate for those admitted to high dependency units had fallen, with only 7 per cent of patients dying in June compared to 26 per cent in March.
The study was carried out in partnership with the University of Warwick and was supported by The Alan Turing Institute.
While in late March 41 per cent of people admitted to intensive care passed away, by June that number had fallen to 21 per cent.
Dr John Dennis, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “Importantly, we controlled factors including age, sex, ethnicity and other health conditions such as diabetes. This suggests the improvement in death rates in more recent months is not simply due to younger, or previously healthier, people being admitted to critical care.”
Dr Bilal Mateen, of the University of Warwick, said: “The reduction in the number of people dying from COVID-19 in hospitals is clearly a step in the right direction, but it’s important that we do not become complacent as a result.
“Even at the lowest point, nearly a quarter of admissions to intensive care were still dying – that’s a huge number of people, and we have to do all we can to control the spread of the virus and keep hospital admissions as low as possible.”
The paper, entitled ‘Improving survival of critical care patients with COVID-19 in England: A national cohort study, March to June 2020,’ can be read here.