Science

First week after discharge from Covid-19 hospitalization crucial: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on December 16, 2020

Covid-19 patients had a 40 per cent to 60 per cent higher risk of ending up back in the hospital or dying in the first ten days.   -  PTI

The survivors could face dangerous and exacerbating aftereffects of the infection, especially during the first week

New research has found that the first week and a half is sensitive and crucial for Covid-19 positive patients after getting discharged from the hospital.

The Covid-19 survivors could face dangerous and exacerbating aftereffects of the infection, especially during the first week, as per the study published in the journal JAMA.

Earlier studies have shown that the first few months after the Covid-19 infection signals a high risk of health problems that can lead to readmission and even death.

Covid-19 patients had a 40 per cent to 60 per cent higher risk of ending up back in the hospital or dying in the first ten days, compared with similar patients treated at the same hospitals during the same months for heart failure or pneumonia, the study stated.

By the end of 60 days, the Covid-19 patients' overall risk of readmission or death was lower than that for the other two severe conditions.

Even so, in the first two months, nine per cent of the Covid-19 patients, who survived hospitalization had died, and almost 20 per cent had suffered a setback that sent them back to the hospital. That's on top of the 18.5 per cent who had died during their hospitalization.

Study author from the University of Michigan in the US said: "By comparing Covid-19 patients' long-term outcomes with those of other seriously ill patients, we see a pattern of even greater-than-usual risk right in the first one to two weeks, which can be a risky period for anyone."

The researchers also stated the most common reasons listed for rehospitalization were Covid-19, cited in 30 per cent of patients, and sepsis is seen in 8.5 per cent. While more than 22 per cent of the readmitted veterans went to the intensive care unit.

"Unfortunately, this is yet more evidence that Covid-19 is not 'one and done.' For many patients, Covid-19 seems to set off cascades of problems that are every bit as serious as those we see in other diseases," the team wrote.

The research team will continue to study new data from Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals as it becomes available and to compare Covid-19 post-hospital outcomes with those for other serious conditions.

"Comparisons with patients hospitalized for influenza and other viral illnesses would be important to study, given the widespread false claims that Covid-19 is just a minor illness," they noted.

Published on December 16, 2020

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