In the calculation of human tolls, an outbreak of disease is similar to war. The most precise way in which public health researchers can deal with the effects of something like COVID-19 is to compare the total number of deaths recorded in a specific location between the outbreak and the number of deaths from previous years.
That analysis will yield a number called “Excess death” means deaths that are higher than normal expected.
The figures are not just for COVID-19 deaths, but also the number of people who do not have access to health care at some point in their lives when the chronic condition becomes life-threatening. This also includes individuals whose primary cause of death may be something else. But also those infected with COVID-19
And as the dust settles and the data are tabulated, America’s surplus deaths have risen over the past year.
The importance of tabulating such a dark statistic is twofold: the record-breaking nature is caused by both of our most for-profit healthcare systems as well as the inability of governments. For decades, our government has ignored warnings from public health experts that the US is not properly prepared for the epidemic we are currently working on.
Looking back is 2020
It was not that no one saw the impending epidemic. In his book, “The Great Influenza,” first published in 2004, John M. Barry leads the COVID-19 crisis, explaining that “hospitals, like other industries, are more efficient by reducing costs. This means there is hardly any excess capacity – with each head, the United States has far fewer hospital beds than it was a few decades ago. “
He continued, “In fact, during the regular flu season, the use of a ventilator has risen to nearly 100 percent in epidemics. Most people who need a mechanical ventilator will not be offered a ventilator.”
As we have learned firsthand in recent months as the healthcare system has been dominated, getting accurate cause of death data is a work in progress. There is no doubt that many COVID-19 cases may be missed.In other cases, someone may die at home or become ill with a chronic illness that is eliminated as COVID when that is not the case.
The data point compares a single constant: death of any and all causes, just like birth, death is what we follow with precision.
So one way that medical researchers can understand the magnitude of the impact of something like COVID is by comparing the total number of deaths from all causes during an outbreak and against the same data points over the years.
Where is the worst
The analysis of “excess mortality” captures the collateral impact of overflowing healthcare systems that were lacking in resources long before the outbreak. This would include people who died as a result of opting not to go to the hospital for unrelated conditions for fear of contracting COVID-19, although it doesn’t count as a COVID-19 death, it tells us something about it. With what happens when we allow healthcare operations without excess or redundancy – what is an effective, rational form of healthcare?
According to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which looked at excess mortality from March 1, 2020 to January 2, 2021, there were 522,368 “overdoses”. Which is measured against the mean in the range The same period from 2014 to 2019.
Earlier this year, more than 350,186 deaths from COVID-19 were reported by comparison. The “overshoot” of deaths and reported COVID-19 data, linked to its location, allow us to understand that public health systems have had one of the toughest times to cope under stress in the last century. Numerous death events
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Virginia Commonwealth School of Medicine in Richmond and Yale School of Public Health, calculated that COVID-19 accounted for 72.4 percent of excess deaths. Balance may be “Immediate or delayed mortality from undocumented COVID-19 infection or non-COVID-19 mortality following outbreaks, such as from delayed care or behavioral health crises.”
While nationwide saw a 23 percent increase in surplus death rates during the outbreak, But New York, which has lost nearly 50,000 cases of COVID, is the nation’s highest, with more than 38 percent of the deaths. York State is head-to-head, according to the researchers.
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In an editorial published with the study, Dr. Alan M. Garber writes on the importance of understanding the bigger picture than the daily COVID dashboard, “there is no more indication of the death toll from the COVID-19 epidemic. The deaths happened, ”he noted.
“The crash in response to the outbreak is not just the case. But it could happen But for the most part, these predictions should not reassure governments that they are prepared for more predictable and potentially future threats, ”continues Garber. The potential for future catastrophes would make the tendency to be further reduced, making it less likely that the government would make adequate arrangements. That is why understanding the toll of the outbreak is An important step in the right direction. “
In New York City, where COVID kills more than 32,000 residents, fighting the virus has inspired life-saving innovation, New York City Health + Hospitals CEO Dr. Mitch Katz.
NYC H + H, the nation’s largest municipal hospital system, has 11 hospitals and is found to have the highest number of early deaths. During the outbreak, thousands of H + H workers from many jobs were sidelined by the deadly virus that killed 53 workers.
In a nearly unprecedented public health emergency, H + H has found a way to improve patient care while reducing staff exposure to the deadly virus, slowing the spread of the virus.
“We’ve done a lot of work, from the first wave of inserting glass or glass doors in walls, to building windows for the camera in the patient room – microphones so that patients can be safely monitored without entering the room … And that’s a positive development with either COVID or another infectious disease, ”Dr. Katz said during a phone interview. “So I think we’ve learned how to make our hospitals safer to care for infectious disease patients.”
For Dr. Katz, one of the most worrisome findings is that pre-existing inequalities in private and public hospitals’ infrastructure make some communities more vulnerable during diffusion. scourge
“I think the fact that we have a lot fewer hospital beds in Queens compared to Manhattan is a very important lesson,” he said. Elmhurst and Elmhurst are more challenging as they have very few beds for the size of the Queens population compared to Manhattan and other parts of New York state. In the number of beds I think is a problem. “
Dr. Katz built a national reputation, leading public hospital systems in San Francisco and Los Angeles before returning home to New York. After years of experience at the forefront of healthcare in both coastal cities, he believes the national risk to COVID-19 can be traced back to the continued cuts in public health investments that began in the Reagan era.
“Yes, the epidemic shows how we need to build public health infrastructure so we can better prepare for what people need,” he said.
As cities, states and federal governments seek to reunite after more than half a million deaths and more than 30 million infections, Dr. Katz believes policymakers will be well advised to take action. Consult not just COVID mortality per se, but about neighborhood-referenced excess mortality.
“Of course, and I think we already have some feelings about the excess deaths that occur in people who have been infected with the COVID virus and have not been tested,” he said. Undocumented immigrants or people with very low income and fear of going to the hospital
“In part, we know where people who have had a heart attack or other serious disease come from and are not being supervised because they fear getting COVID from the hospital. Too much life is very useful. It doesn’t have to be straightforward – we can all be aware that a certain number of people die and have not been tested for COVID, a trend in the general population that is important.
If America is to recover, which is the first step in escaping this epidemic and preparing for further defense, we need to leverage these places where access to quality medical care. It is a pre-socio-economic condition that drives Local body count
Our personal health is linked to the health of our neighbors. That’s not a scripture That is biology