NHS data shows 66% of coronavirus patients on ventilators die from bug – The Sun


NHS data has revealed that 66 per cent of coronavirus patients on ventilators in the UK will die from the disease.

A new report has found that of the 98 patients who relied on the breathing machines in intensive care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, just 33 survived.

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That grim figure is double the mortality rate of non-virus patients who were put on breathing machines before the Covid-19.

It comes as the NHS is still 22,000 ventilators short of the estimated 30,000 needed during the peak of the pandemic – which has already infected almost 34,000 Brits.

One doctor told the Guardian: "The truth is that quite a lot of these individuals [in critical care] are going to die anyway and there is a fear that we are just ventilating them for the sake of it, for the sake of doing something for them, even though it won’t be effective. That’s a worry."

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The report from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Center (ICNARC) analysed the first 775 patients with severe coronavirus across 285 intensive care units.

It also revealed that of 165 treated in critical care since the end of February, 79 died while 86 survived and were discharged.

The remaining 610 patients are still receiving intensive care for the killer bug.

Care breakdown

The ICNARC report also found that the majority of those who have died from coronavirus across the UK were over the age of 70.

However, nine of the 79 who died in intensive care were aged between 16 and 49.

What is a ventilator?

A ventilator is a machine that helps people who cannot breathe properly on their own by pumping air in and out of their lungs through a tube inserted into their windpipe.

They are different from a respirator, which is a protective face mask that stops the user from inhaling hazardous airborne particles — such as the N95 respirators that hospital staff need to protect themselves from getting infected by coronavirus patients.

As Covid-19 affects the respiratory system — causing shortness of breath or breathing difficulties — a ventilator could mean the difference between life and death for some patients.

But as the virus sweeps the globe, hospitals worldwide – as well as in the UK – are facing a critical shortage of the life-saving medical devices.

Production is said to be ramping up in factories across Britain to get to the crucial 30,000 ventilators needed.

At the moment, there are just 8,000 available in ICUs.

It also suggested that men were at a higher risk from the virus as 70 per cent of all ICU patients were male – and 30 per cent of men in critical care were under 60, compared to just 15 per cent of women.

They also found that carrying excess weight could make someone more vulnerable to the virus.

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