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What impact Have COVID-19 Pandemic on Number of Death Occurring at the Emergency Department: A Retrospective Analysis of Mortality in India From January 2019 to May 2021

13 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2022

See all articles by Dr. Piyush Kumar

Dr. Piyush Kumar

Government of Bihar - Department of Health; Health Department, Government of Bihar


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Background: Acute treatment in emergency case management is required for survival and stabilization of critical patients, followed by a shifting to the relevant medical department for further care. However, for the seriously ill critical patients, i.e., when the care provided by the Emergency Department (ED) of the hospital is not enough to enable transfer, death may occur while treatment in the emergency department. This aspect of emergency management is often overlooked, and very few researcher and government is really serious regarding who dies in the ED.

Aim and Objective: The aim of my study was to determine the total Mortality occurring in India from 1st January 2019 to 31st May 2021(limitation here due to data availability is limited from accredited source) of emergency department admissions of public and private health facilities. The objective is to find out if there is increase or decrease in mortality of emergency department admissions during the covid-19 pandemic era by comparing average mortality of ED per month of public, private, rural, urban health facilities before the pandemic from 1st and 2nd year of pandemic i.e. 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Methods: This research study is a cross sectional retrospective analysis of the mortality occurring at the emergency department of public and private, rural, urban hospitals from 1st January 2019 to May31st 2021 with aim to find out impact of covid-19. Electronic patient records from HMIS (health management information system) of MoHFW (ministry of health and family welfare) , Government of India is collected, observed, analyzed, compared for all patients deaths occurring at Emergency Department (ED) of  public and private, rural, urban health facilities (n = 452102) during the period January 2019 to May 2021.

Results: The study results found that largest total number of death occurred in the ED during may 2021 whereas the least number of deaths occurred in February 2019 (limitation is data availability up to May 2021 from accredited sources). During the first year of the pandemic, average mortality per month (Jan2020-Dec2020) in the emergency department (ED) of rural, urban, public and private hospitals in India was 16067per month whereas before the pandemic it was 12542 per month while during second year of pandemic i.e. 2021 the average mortality increased to 21758 per month (up to May 2021).

Discussion: Recently a new strain omicron has again disrupted the normal life and lockdown and other measures are being implemented by different countries to save lives. The mortality at ED are having various etiologies, clinical severity at time of admission has a direct correlation with mortality, which requires the necessity of advanced triage system. There exists a lack of proper knowledge and advanced directives in the beginning i.e. December 2019 of the covid-19 pandemic era.

Conclusions: Due to novel disease majority of clinicians have challenging situation as well as Emergency Medicine (EM) teams faced a sudden increase in the number of cases with limited resources. Furthermore, a lack of proper knowledge and directives may have hindered access to proper care, as witnessed in many part of the world and available in various literatures. The authors hope that this study will help global researchers as well as policy makers to promote further research and discussion into preparation methods for such pandemics to reduce patient’s risk of death in the ED.

Funding Information: Self sponsored. No aid taken from individual or agency etc.

Declaration of Interests: There are no conflicts / competing of interest.

Ethics Approval Statement: Not applicable. This study has not involved any human or animals in real or for experiments. The data on the COVID-19 pandemic were taken from the Health Department available as electronic patient records from HMIS (health management information system) of MoHFW (ministry of health and family welfare), Government of India.

Keywords: Emergency department, Death, Covid-19, Pandemic, Health facilities

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Piyush and Kumar, Piyush, What impact Have COVID-19 Pandemic on Number of Death Occurring at the Emergency Department: A Retrospective Analysis of Mortality in India From January 2019 to May 2021. Available at SSRN: or

Piyush Kumar (Contact Author)

Health Department, Government of Bihar ( email )

Health Department
Patna, Bihar 800001

Government of Bihar - Department of Health ( email )

Patna, Bihar

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