Covid-19: Severe courses continue to increase in young patients

Forum Health Covid-19: Severe courses continue to increase in young patients

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    Covid-19: Severe courses continue to increase in young patients

    So far, people over 60 years of age have been the risk group when it comes to Covid-19. With the new mutations, however, this should slowly change, because younger and younger people struggle with difficult courses. Signs of this are increasing numbers of artificial respiration in this age group. Even with the evaluation of the number of cases for the Hospital Report 2021 by the Scientific Institute of the AOK (WIdO), this assumption now seems to be confirmed more and more.

    Case numbers are slowly falling

    But first the good news: The number of cases of Covid 19 sufferers is falling noticeably if you compare the data from October 2020 to January 2021 with those in the previous year. From December onwards, there was a decline of 21 percent, but overall not as strong as in the first to the second wave. Likewise, the number of hip prosthesis implants for osteoarthritis fell by 21 percent in the same period. “This probably has to do with the changed rules on keeping free, which will be made much more differentiated in the second wave of the pandemic,” says Managing Director of WIdO, Jürgen Klauber, interpreting the available figures.

    Strong slump in emergency treatment

    However, there are concerns about declines in emergencies, such as heart attacks and strokes – but also in cancer operations, which is related to the pandemic. In the period from October 2020 to January 2021, this resulted in a 13 percent lower number of treatments for heart attacks alone. The situation is similar with strokes, with 11 percent fewer affected persons being treated compared to the previous year: “These renewed break-ins are cause for concern – especially since in an earlier evaluation for the Quality Monitor 2020 we already saw a significant increase in mortality in the first pandemic wave Stroke patients have noticed, ”says Klauber. “Doctors from the hospitals have repeatedly pointed out that heart attack patients often arrive at the hospital late and with advanced damage to the heart. In view of the numbers, we can only renew the appeal to the population not to hesitate to dial the emergency number in the event of emergency symptoms, even under the conditions of the pandemic ”.

    Outpatient diagnostics are reduced

    Cancers such as breast and colon cancer are just as affected by a decline. Surgical removal of the two types of cancer showed a reduction of ten and 17 percent, respectively, in the first wave of the pandemic. With the resumption of mammography screening, however, the number of cases in breast cancer operations has decreased less sharply (minus five percent) compared to colorectal cancer operations, which fell by a fifth. “Apparently, there was also significantly reduced outpatient diagnostics in the second wave of pandemics,” says Klauber. “On the basis of the available data, however, we cannot answer to what extent patients with complaints or early detection hesitated during the colonoscopies (colonoscopies) or whether the range of services was reduced for capacity reasons.”

    Men affected by Covid-19 more severely

    When analyzing the numbers, however, there were other anomalies. The male sex in particular seems to be more poorly tolerated by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as around 66 percent had to be artificially ventilated, while it was only around a third for women. The ventilation quota rises more and more with age, as the case numbers now show. “However, we also see a lot of serious illnesses in younger people,” warns Klauber. A third of the Covid-19 patients treated were younger than 60 years, and a quarter of them had to use artificial respiration. “The figures make it clear that the intensive care units can quickly fill up with middle-aged people who have not yet been vaccinated in view of the increasing number of infections,” Klauber assumes. Initial reports by the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine have already confirmed this development.

    No need to bury your head in the sand

    Of course, the facts available give cause for concern, but there are also positive aspects to the treatment of Covid-19: “Good news is that towards the end of this evaluation period we are seeing a lower ventilation rate and a lower risk of death for patients without ventilation. That probably has to do with the improvement in drug therapy, ”confirms Klauber. In addition, the improving training in larger hospitals seems to be making its contribution: “Given the severity of the Covid-19 disease, which can affect different organs and often requires ventilation, particularly suitable hospitals with experienced treatment teams should be approached as directly as possible,” recommends Klauber continue to prevent fatal courses as well as possible.

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Forum Health Covid-19: Severe courses continue to increase in young patients