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Warning as UK coronavirus outbreak leads to sharp rise in deaths at home

PUBLISHED

The coronavirus crisis has led to a sharp rise in the number of seriously ill people dying at home because they are reluctant to call for an ambulance, doctors and paramedics have warned.

Minutes of a remote meeting held by London A&E chiefs last week obtained by the Guardian reveal that dozens more people than usual are dying at home of a cardiac arrest – potentially related to coronavirus – each day before ambulance crews can reach them.

And as the chair of the Royal College of GPs said that doctors were noticing a spike in the number of people dying at home, paramedics across the country said in interviews that they were attending more calls where patients were dead when they arrived.

The minutes also reveal acute concern among senior medics that seriously ill patients are not going to A&E or dialling 999 because they are afraid or do not wish to be a burden.

“People don’t want to go near hospital,” the document said. “As a result salvageable conditions are not being treated.”

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Source: The Guardian, 16 April 2020

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