Half of Brazil’s COVID-19 deaths in hospitals could have been avoided by minimizing shocks to the healthcare system.
In Brazil, COVID-19 fatality rates in hospitals fluctuate extensively since the beginning of the pandemic and vary dramatically across the country. The data showed that in many of Brazil’s state capitals, over half of the older COVID-19 patients died in short time periods lasting several weeks. After the emergence of the Gamma variant, the shocks were transient and largely subsided with reduced healthcare demand. The pressure on the Brazilian healthcare system, large inequities of healthcare resources, and shortages in healthcare capacity across Brazil drive the high fatality rates.
Without the added pressure on healthcare due to the pandemic and without pandemic resource limitations, approximately one quarter of Brazil’s COVID-19 deaths in hospitals could have been avoided according to the paper. In addition, if there had been no inequities in baseline fatality rates across the country, half of Brazil’s COVID-19 deaths in hospitals could have been avoided according to the report.
The researchers suggest that investments in healthcare resources, healthcare optimization, and pandemic preparedness are critical to minimize population wide mortality and morbidity caused by highly transmissible and deadly pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Read the full Press Release here: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/230896/pandemic-healthcare-pressure-linked-large-number/
The Full paper (open access) can be accessed here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-01807-1