In-hospital mortality of intubated Covid-19 patients in Greece is adversely affected by high patient load even without exceeding capacity, as well as by regional disparities, a new study has found.
The study, led by Assistant Professor of Public Health at Cyprus’ European University Theodore Lytras and Athens Medical School professor and epidemiologist Sotiris Tsiodras, was conducted between September 2020 and May 2021 before being published this week at the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.
The experts examined in-hospital mortality of intubated Covid-19 patients, in relation to total intubated patient load, intensive care unit (ICU) availability and hospital region.
They found that mortality increased by 25 percent when capacity exceeded 400 patients, rising progressively to 57 percent when capacity was over 800 patients. Hospitalization outside an ICU or away from the greater Athens region were also found to be independently associated with significantly increased mortality.
According to the study, although healthcare services in Greece have expanded capacity during the course of the pandemic, “quality of care under increasing patient loads has received less attention.”
“This highlights the need for more substantial strengthening of healthcare services, focusing on equity and quality of care besides just expanding capacity,” it concludes.
A daily record of 130 Covid-19-related deaths were confirmed Tuesday. The number of intubated patients was 700, while 325 people were admitted to hospital.