Coronavirus: Who is ending up in intensive care?

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  • The UK’s Sky News evaluated which people are ending up in intensive care units (ICUs) up and down Britain.

    The results make interesting viewing.

    Thomas Moore looks at who is being worst affected by the coronavirus.

    The figures suggest the average age of those ending up in intensive care is a lot younger than expected.

    Sky News YouTube Channel

    Who is ending up in Intensive Care?

    The statistics were taken from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC), who analysed 196 patients admitted to Intensive Care between 29 February and 19 March 2020, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Patients needing critical care because of Covid-19 are increasing during March.

    Trends show 71% are male, and the average age was 62.6.

    10% of patients were in their 40s and 5% were in their 30s. Additionally, novel coronavirus can even affect people who were even younger, and were perfectly healthy, which is why it is so important that ICUs remain available to treat these people.

    In the report, we hear from Micheal Prendergast, a coronavirus patient, who explains:

    “I had zero symptoms, I arrived home on the 16th March, on Monday, and on Tuesday I had horrific shortness of breath and an extremely hot temperature.

    “By Wednesday it had exacerbated [I was] really struggling to breathe, [I had] insanely high temperature, convulsions in bed, due to my body fighting the infection.

    “on Thursday I phoned an ambulance and I’ve been in hospital now for, this is the fifth day.”

    75% of patients needed mechanical ventilation within the first 24 hours oof being admitted to hospital. It is therefore vital that there is room and equipment to meet this demand, otherwise those who could otherwise be treated, could find themselves in a very grave situation.

    163 patients are still in critical care, 17 have recovered, and 16 have died.

    This treatment took half of the patients nine days – too reach the recovered or died outcome – underlining how bed space in ICUs will become squeezed, owing to the duration of this treatment.

    79% of patients needed cardiovascular support; 18% needed more advanced cardiac care; 12% needed kidney dialysis. These are very seriously ill patients needing expert care.

    Clearly efforts to ensure that the spread of Covid-19, for which there is no immunity or vaccine, will be vital to ensuring that ICUs don’t become overwhelmed in getting patients through this intensive treatment which can last from 1-2 weeks.

    15% of all these patients, do not forget, are under 50 years of age. Ensuring sufficient space to treat these patients will ensure the best possible outcomes.

    Stay home and save lives.

    More on the ICNARC report is here.

    In This Story: Covid-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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