“Hospitals do not perform as well when they are overwhelmed,” which may be a reason for the correlation between community prevalence and mortality rates, Boudourakis and Uppal suggested. “In particular, patients with a precarious respiratory status require expert, meticulous therapy to avoid intubation; those who undergo intubation or have kidney failure require nuanced and timely expert care with ventilatory adjustments and kidney replacement therapy, which are difficult to perform optimally when hospital capacity is strained.”
Although the death rate has fallen to about 9% for hospitalized patients, “9% is still high,” Asch said.
“Our results show that hospitals can’t do it on their own,” Asch said. “They need all of us to keep the community spread of the disease down. The right answer now is the right answer since the beginning of the pandemic: Keep your distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask.”
Asch, Boudourakis, and Uppal have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. A study coauthor reported personal fees and grants from pharmaceutical companies outside the submitted work.
A version of this article first appeared on Medscape.com.