‘Nearly 80% of Covid-19 deaths in Kanpur due to co-morbidities in patients’: Report
“Their immunity level kept going down. They were fighting their ailments and this virus at the same time and died as a result,” said Dr SK Gautam, head of the audit team.Updated: Sep 18, 2020, 00:15 IST
As many as 78 percent of those who died in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, while undergoing Covid-19 treatment succumbed to other diseases (co-morbidities), which the virus aggravated, medical experts found during an audit of Covid-19 related fatalities in the city. The district administration commissioned the audit on the directives of the state government.
Dr SK Gautam, head of the death audit team, said co-morbidities had emerged as a key factor behind the deaths. It was clear that the patients had other ailments before getting infected, he added.
“Their immunity level kept going down. They were fighting their ailments and this virus at the same time and died as a result,” he said.
Kanpur has reported 554 deaths since April and the team has audited 428 of these cases. It found that 336 of these deaths were the result of co-morbidities in patients.
In 60 percent of cases, the team concluded that diabetes, pneumonia, hypertension or acute respiratory distress syndrome were responsible for the deaths. Cancer, kidney, heart and gastro related ailments contributed to the other deaths, according to the audit team.
Covid-19 claimed the lives of 78 youths. People between 12-50 years largely passed away due to delayed treatment. They received treatment at home for their symptoms, got their Covid-19 test done late and reached the hospitals at a late stage, the team concluded. By that time they reached the hospital, the virus had already infected their lungs considerably, impairing their functioning, the team observed. As a result, the oxygen saturation level recorded in most of the cases was below 40 at the time of their admission to the hospital, they said.
Nine of the patients were anaemic and their haemoglobin level was found to be below 7. Five patients were injured in road accidents and tested positive for Covid-19 on being admitted to the hospital.
Dr Richa Giri, superintendent in chief of Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital, which is a level-3 Covid-19 facility, said delay in seeking specialized medical help and admission in hospital was also a key reason.
“On finding symptoms, people should not wait. They should get themselves tested instantly,” she said.
The audit was necessitated following the high Covid-19 mortality rate in Kanpur. Initially, the deaths were reported from the L3 (level 3) hospitals and later a large number of fatalities was recorded from the L2 Covid-19 facilities. The audit team, however, did not mention the non-shifting of patients to L3 hospitals from L2 hospitals as the reason for deaths.
The L3 hospitals did not have any space left for the new patients. Besides, another facility of 160 ICU beds—30 of them with ventilators—was delayed.