The Grapevine

A Third Of Coronavirus Patients In ICUs Do Not Recover, NHS Study Finds

Most know that once a person is placed under intensive care units (ICU), the illness he or she is dealing with is pretty serious. And during these times where some individuals are dealing with serious cases of COVID-19 pandemic, a question crossing the minds of most are the chances of survival.

Some recent figures are far from comforting, revealing that a third of COVID-19 patients who end up in ICUs do not recover and die. In a study by the Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group, it was found that the ICU mortality rate of 32.9 percent was higher compared to the normal death rates in critical care settings. Researchers looked into the case of 472 adult ICU patients admitted up to May 2. The 44.1 percent were able to recover and were discharged, while the remaining were still in intensive care.

The numbers were pretty fair compared to ICU cases in 2018. At the time, only 18 percent of patients admitted to ICU died while in the hospital, BBC reported. For comparison, other similar studies showed 46.8 percent passed away when their outcome had been reported.

Worth noting is that most of the patients who are admitted to the ICU are the elderly. Further to the study, there were 25 COVID-19 patients per population of 100,000 aged 60 to 69 who were admitted. Those who were aged 16 to 49 showed 3.6 admissions per population of 100,000.

The survival rate likewise varied depending on age. People aged 70 years and above had a 42.3 percent chance of survival when measured at 30 days after they were admitted to the ICU. The ones aged  16 to 49 were at 79.3 percent.

Also, it was found in another study by Monash University that the majority of COVID-19 ICU patients were men and are older people. Men were twice likely to be admitted compared to women, with people over 60 comprising about 70 percent of ICU admissions. The ones dealing with diabetes, cardiac disease or obesity also had high chances of possibly being admitted. Aside from that, common symptoms at the time of admission showed people having fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and diarrhea.

"We've never seen this infectious disease before and, as a consequence, a lot of the traditional ways that we manage a patient are being challenged," Andrew Udy, Monash University’s Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Center co-deputy director, said.

ICU Patient in an ICU. Ian Waldie/Getty Images