A report from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Center (ICNARC) found the mortality rate of Covid-19 patients on ventilators is almost double that of non-virus patients who were put on breathing support between 2017 and 2019, before the outbreak.
ICNARC also found that the death rate of those admitted to intensive care in the UK with coronavirus has topped 50%. The figure comes from data based on a sample of 2,249 coronavirus patients. Of 690 patients in the sample whose care outcomes were known, 346 had died, while 344 had been discharged.
The remaining patients, 1,559, were reported still to be in critical care. The data also shows that of 2,248 patients, 73% were men and 27% were women.
The latest data comes after volunteers who will help coronavirus patients at the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in east London were reportedly told to expect up to 80% of people on ventilators to die.
Those who have given up their time to help staff at the emergency 4,000-bed facility at the ExCel Centre were allegedly warned last week that they will ‘see death’.
The high death rate has led some doctors to question whether some critically ill Covid-19 patients are being put on ventilation ‘for the sake of it’.
Imperial College Healthcare last week said it was reserving ventilators for coronavirus patients who are most likely to survive.
The London NHS Trust said ‘very poorly’ people may need to be on the life-saving machines for weeks, but in some cases ‘this would not be in their best interests’ as it may only result in delaying their death.