About eleven% of people admitted to a health center for COVID-19 return to hospital or die within 30 days after being discharged, according to new research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
It is known that hospital readmissions are common and costlyso knowing the rate of readmission after hospitalization for COVID-19 and understanding the related resource implications can help with care planning.
“Identifying risk factors for early readmission or death is important for both the hospital clinical team and the primary care physician resuming care after discharge, as well as transition coordinators deciding which patients may benefit from additional resources.” at discharge to optimize outcomes,” said Finlay McAlister of the University of Alberta, Canada.
The researchers analyzed data from all adults hospitalized in Alberta and Ontario (Canada) for the SARS-CoV-2 virus -which causes the disease COVID-19- between January 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.
Of the 843,737 people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR test, 5.5% of adults were hospitalizedthe average length of stay was eight days, 14% were in the intensive care unit at some point during hospitalization, 18% died in hospital, and 11% of those discharged were readmitted or died within 30 days of discharge. Nearly half of those readmissions were for lung problems.
Although hospital death rates were higher and length of hospital stay was longer for patients with COVID-19 than for patients with other respiratory infections, readmission rates were not higher than for other medical conditions .
“Despite fears of high readmission rates after COVID-19 hospitalizations, we found that outcomes within 30 days of discharge were consistent with admissions by other medical diagnoses,” the authors note, adding: “Therefore, current system approaches to transitioning patients from hospital to home do not appear to need adjustment.”
Patients who died were older, had multiple comorbidities, were more likely to be male, were discharged to home care or to a long-term care facility, and had more previous hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
Of patients tested with COVID-19, 91% in Alberta and 95% in Ontario they were not vaccinatedunderscoring the efficacy of the vaccines, according to the researchers.