Scarce Health-Care Resources and Higher Case-Fatality Rates Early in Epidemic: Analysis of Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 in Tianmen
11 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2020More...
Background: Tianmen as the city with the highest case-fatality rates (CFR) early in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, but little is known about the epidemic of Tianmen. Our study aims to reveal the causes of the high CFR from the aspects of clinical features, medical resources, and epidemic situations.
Methods: In this study, we report admissions and outcomes of 341 patients with confirmed COVID-19 who were admitted and hospitalized in our hospital (The First People's Hospital of Tianmen) from January 14 to February 25, 2020. Epidemic information and medical resources across regions were collected and compared.
Findings: All cases of Tianmen who died of COVID-19 occurred in our hospital, and the proportion of patients with critical (8·5%) symptoms in our hospital is higher than the average in China. In addition, affected patients in Tianmen is quite low, but our hospital and the whole city had the highest CFR in the early stage of the epidemic. Completely different from the stable CFR in Hubei Province, the CFR of COVID-19 in our hospital and this city dropped dramatically from the top to a general level within a few days. Analysis of government public documents shows that the per-capita medical resources of Tianmen are worse than Wuhan and Hubei.
Interpretation: Our findings suggest that the inadequate capacity to respond to public health emergencies caused by relatively scarce health-care resources is a crucial factor contributes to the higher CFR of infectious diseases in regions with lower economic levels. Backward countries and territories should take strategies earlier to minimize the endanger of COVID-19.
Funding Statement: No funding supported this study.
Declaration of Interests: All the authors declare no competing interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: The research protocol was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee in The First People's Hospital of Tianmen, Hubei, China.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; Case-fatality rates; Health-care resources; Public health emergencies
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