‘Delay in seeking treatment shot up death toll in 2nd wave’

‘Delay in seeking treatment shot up death toll in 2nd wave’
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Srinagar, Aug 6: Delay in reporting to a hospital for severe symptoms of COVID19 may be responsible for nearly one fourth of all COVID19 deaths, official data reveals.

As per the mortality analysis of the Second Wave by Health and Medical Education Department, one in every 10 deaths (10 percent) due to COVID19 between April and July 2021 took place outside hospitals.

Despite alarm by health officials in mid-May, outside hospital deaths continued during June, data show.

The patients, a senior doctor said, were not brought to hospital despite possibly having severe symptoms and where medical intervention could have helped save their life. In addition, 15 percent of deaths took place within a day of admission to hospital. “We saw many of these patients were

already in a very critical state when they were admitted and thus lost the battle soon, sometimes within hours of reaching the health facility,” the senior doctor who was working in a designated facility said.

Together, he said, as per the figures, 25 percent of the deaths happened either without medical intervention or with minimal time to intervene and help the patients.

He however acknowledged that SARS-CoV2 caused serious and fatal illness in some and even the best of treatments in hospitals have failed to save lives of hundreds. J&K lost over 2300 people to the pandemic in four months.

Between regions, there is variation in the figures. In Jammu division, 18 percent of deaths took place within an hour of reaching hospital, while 12 percent died without being brought to hospital. Cumulative, 30 percent of deaths, or one out of every three deaths in Jammu division could be attributed to delay in treatment seeking.

Many doctors on the other hand feel that these deaths also reflected “laxity” on the part of the authorities. “We need more close monitoring of identified cases and their health status. This will be very critical in future where the focus should be on identifying any case whose symptoms require hospital admission immediately,” doctors said. During the second wave thousands of people with mild and moderate symptoms were under home isolation as hospitals filled up with cases requiring admissions.

The ratio of admitted cases and active cases has remained of the order of 1: 15 in 2021. The Government, had distributed free pulse oxymeters in some areas to help patients monitor their saturation levels and report to hospital in case it dropped.

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