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Hospitalising coronavirus patients can cause more deaths, data from Italy suggests

Sending coronavirus patients to hospital can dramatically increase death rates, the experience of two hard-hit Italian regions suggests.

Veneto and Lombardy are neighbouring regions but have seen sharply differing fatality rates since the contagion broke out in northern Italy in late February. Despite having equally well-equipped hospitals and similar levels of wealth, Lombardy’s death rate is around 17% while that of Veneto is around 5%.

One reason for the disparity is that Veneto has tested many more people – the more tests that are carried out, the more positive cases are found, and that brings down the overall death rate among those infected.

But another key factor, experts believe, is that Lombardy admitted more patients to hospital, whereas Veneto urged them to stay at home or treated them in local health clinics.

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Source: The Telegraph, 6 April 2020


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