COVID19 affects everyone

Here’s a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention looking at the first 4000+ COVID positive patients in the United States.

There are 2 graphs in that article that concerns me. This is the first one.

This tells me clearly that people of all age groups get admitted to hospitals. In fact, the big hospital admission burden is in the group between ages 20-74. This is important as we prepare for the incoming surge of patients. Many young people will require hospitalisation. Your youthfulness does not protect you from becoming ill enough that you need to be admitted to the hospital. Hospitalisations are expensive and labour intensive. We need to work hard at preventing these admissions. Community priority: social distancing to prevent spread and admission to hospitals. We can’t just use the number of ventilators as a measure of readiness. We need to look at the big picture of bed management across the service.

Let’s dump that myth suggesting that COVID19 is an elderly person’s disease. No. It affects all age group.

The second table is this.

It’s proving what we have heard from China , South Korea, Italy and the UK. Mortality rate goes up with age. In the oldest group of 85 and above, it appears that there is a case fatality rate of 10-27%. Now that’s a very high mortality risk. It’s critical that we have a frank discussion with patients and their families regarding advanced care plans even before entering the ICU.

Stay the course, friends. We’re all in this together.