A study has shown that two out of five coronavirus patients die after being hospitalized in Brazil. This shows how the virus has overwhelmed healthcare systems in all regions of the country.
Brazil’s in-hospital mortality rate was 38 percent, increasing to 60 percent among those admitted to the ICU and 80 percent among those who received mechanical ventilation The Lancet Respiratory Medicine Diary found.
The analysis looked at data from a nationwide surveillance system to assess mortality rates among the first 250,000 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 in Brazil. It was also found that nearly half (47 percent) of the 254,288 patients admitted to the hospital were under 60 years of age.
The death rate varied widely across countries, mainly due to differences in the capacity and preparedness of their health systems. The analysis comes from the fact that the Amazon city of Manaus is suffering from a lack of oxygen, triggering mass transfers of patients to hospitals outside the state.
“So far, there is very limited data on the mortality of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 or how health systems have dealt with the pandemic in low- and middle-income countries,” said Otavio Ranzani, ISGlobal researcher and lead author of the studies.
Brazil is a higher-middle-income country with a national health system for 210 million people. However, the country’s response has been marked by both political and economic crises. President Jair Bolsonaro consistently downplayed the severity of the disease, which has killed more than 200,000 Brazilians.
In addition, there are large differences in health care across the country. More than 7.8 million Brazilians live at least four hours from a city where highly complex healthcare is available to treat Covid-19, including an intensive care unit, appropriate equipment and specialized staff, the Institute of Scientific and Technological Communication and Health Information Past Year.
Although the virus overwhelmed health systems in all five regions of the country, hospital admissions and mortality rates were significantly higher in the north and northeast at the start of the pandemic. 31 percent of patients under the age of 60 died in hospitals in the northeast, compared with 15 percent in the south.
“These regional differences in mortality reflect differences in access to better health care that existed before the pandemic,” said Fernando Bozza, study coordinator and researcher at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases.
“This means that Covid-19 disproportionately affects not only the most vulnerable patients, but also the most vulnerable health systems,” he added.
The research is taking place amid a worsening crisis in the Brazilian state of Amazonas as hospitals in the city of Manaus run out of oxygen tanks. The crisis related to the communicable variant believed to have been circulating in the Amazon since July has resulted in a mass transfer of Covid-19 patients from Manaus. Over 6,000 people have died from Covid across the state.
Brazil has registered 8,324,294 cases since the pandemic began and the official death toll stands at 207,095, according to the ministry. It is the third worst outbreak in the world outside of the US and India.