On an average, it takes 17 days for a patient to be discharged

An analysis of patients based on age group shows that the highest number of discharges (24.44%) are in the 20-29 age bracket.  

A COVID-19 patient in Karnataka, so far, has taken an average of 17.48 days to be discharged after testing positive, according to analysis of data given by the State government in daily bulletins between March 9 and May 22.

The analysis was done based on the history of 565 patients. The details of 32 out of the total 597 patients discharged as on May 22 were unavailable. According to the Department of Health and Family Welfare, a patient is discharged when he/she tests negative twice in a period of 24 hours. On an average, male patients take marginally lesser time to be discharged compared to female patients.

An analysis of patients based on age group shows that the highest number of discharges (24.44%) are in the 20-29 age bracket. In contrast, those aged above 70 constituted only 2.6% of the discharged.

In terms of time taken, people over 70 years are faster to be discharged and spent an average of 16.86 days in the hospital. The highest mortality, however, is also in the same age group. Those in the age group of 60 to 69 spent the longest time in the hospital, around 18.46 days.

C.R. Jayanthi, dean and director of Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, where several COVID-19 patients are admitted, said those discharged faster showed better immunity. She also said that those above 70 and discharged have lesser co-morbidities compared to others in the same age group. “Having other co-morbidities often causes delay in the discharge,” she said.

Giridhara R. Babu, professor and Head, Lifecourse epidemiology, Indian Institute of Public Health, Public Health Foundation of India, Bengaluru, argued that the averages are misleading as fewer days in hospitals mean different things for younger people and the elderly.

Need for balance

“Most cases are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. Keeping persons in hospitals for a long time, waiting for them to test negative is also challenging. They will be at higher risk of hospital-acquired infections. This might be manageable now but will change with surge in cases. The revised discharge policy of the GoI mandates earlier discharge once a person is asymptomatic. Hence, they need be home isolated given the virus shedding can continue for a week or two more,” said Dr. Babu. He advocated a balance between the alternatives — hospital-acquired infections versus transmissibility.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 4:57:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/on-an-average-it-takes-17-days-for-a-patient-to-be-discharged/article31660637.ece

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