Deaths, otherwise
July 13, 2020 11:00 AM   Subscribe

How many people will die because of conditions that are aggravated because they don't, won't or can't make appointments for office visits to their primary care physician and don't get short term in patient procedures or out patient procedures?

I wonder if people with, say something respiratory other than covid-19, like pneumonia, or twinges they're even more prone to ignore, turn out to be fatal, like cancers? Is there any wave of those people expected to flood the medical system?
posted by CollectiveMind to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some estimates in this BBC article (e.g., in the UK, one prediction is that 60,000 cancer patients could die because of delays in diagnosis/treatment; more than a million children might die in poorer countries because they won't get access to treatment for basic diseases.)
posted by pinochiette at 11:11 AM on July 13, 2020

Here's a good ONS article looking at causes of excess deaths during the pandemic that are not directly COVID-19 related.
posted by crocomancer at 11:13 AM on July 13, 2020

Washington Post:

The analysis suggests that in five hard-hit states and New York City there were 8,300 more deaths from heart problems than would have been typical in March, April and May — an increase of roughly 27 percent over historical averages.
That spike contributed to Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York state and the city having a combined 75,000 “excess deaths” during that period, 17,000 more than the number officially attributed to covid-19, the disease the virus causes.
While several experts said some of the excess deaths in the analysis were almost certainly unrecognized fatalities from covid-19, the review suggests that many patients suffering from serious conditions died as a result of delaying or not seeking care as the outbreak progressed and swamped some hospitals.
Normally, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. But in the early months of the pandemic, some hospital departments were nearly devoid of the heart, cancer, stroke and other patients who populated them before.
Looking at the analysis, more than 50 patients a day “died excess deaths just from heart disease, just in New York City,” said John Puskas, chairman of cardiovascular surgery at Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital in Manhattan. “Frankly, that would explain where all the patients went.”
The analysis of data from March 1 to May 30, using a model previously developed by the Yale School of Public Health, shows heart disease is the major driver of excess deaths, excluding those officially attributed to covid-19.
New York City, which reports its covid-19 statistics separately from the state, quickly became the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States and saw more than 4,700 excess deaths from heart disease — more than four times the number of any other jurisdiction The Post examined.
Puskas said that even at the height of the outbreak, when his hospital was nearly overwhelmed by the pandemic response, it didn’t turn away anyone seeking heart care. Yet the number of cardiovascular patients showing up remained low, he said.
Health-care providers everywhere are now reckoning with the consequences.
And in a separate excess deaths analysis, the CDC estimated that since Feb. 1, between about 20,000 and 49,000 more people have died of all non-covid-19 causes than would be expected in a typical year.
On Wednesday, an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association bolstered the findings from the Post and CDC analyses. The paper looked at excess deaths nationwide in March and April and found that 35 percent were attributed to causes other than covid-19.
The Post’s analysis found that cerebrovascular diseases — stroke and other conditions that involve blood flow to the brain — accounted for more than 170 excess deaths in New York City and more than 120 in New Jersey.
In New York state and Illinois, the numbers were smaller, well below 100 each. Massachusetts and Michigan saw about the same or fewer deaths from strokes than would have been expected over the same period.

CDC article. Not paywalled.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:16 AM on July 13, 2020

Well, a friend of mine died in April from a combination of Influenza A (for which she had been hospitalized for several weeks) and underlying conditions she was unable to access adequate care for due to the pandemic. :/ The local hospital would not do X rays even on fall patients with osteoporosis (such as my friend) because there was concern about the X ray machine area already being contaminated. They also discharged her too early to free up beds for the expected onslaught of COVID patients. I would frankly guess that this pandemic is going to end up having "indirect" casualties numbering in the tens of thousands. The whole thing really demonstrates the fundamental fragility of our health system on so many levels. :(
posted by aecorwin at 11:38 AM on July 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

From an insurance perspective, my company was hoping to negotiate lower premium rates for 2022 this year--last year it was indicated this would be possible. The insurer came back to us (well, our benefit strategy people) and said, basically, hell to the fuck no. "No one" is using their insurance right now leading to artificially low utilization numbers, and they're projecting claims and costs to skyrocket in 2021+ as everyone finally goes back to the doctor and has to deal with no preventative care for 9 months.

Insurance companies are the antichrist, yes yes yes, and their actuaries are working on a for-profit basis, but they are definitely projecting a spike in costs from deferred treatments and inadequate preventative care.

And of course higher insurance costs means less people are able to get good insurance, which in turn means more deaths.
posted by phunniemee at 1:17 PM on July 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

I just watched a UK Channel 4 documentary about training paramedics and NHS staff during the pandemic which said that in April 2020 it was estimated 8,000 people had died because they were too fearful of going to hospital because of Coronavirus.
posted by essexjan at 3:41 PM on July 13, 2020

Patients are still delaying essential care out of fear of coronavirus (WaPo, Jul. 13, 2020)
Screening tests for breast, colon and cervical cancer, which plunged by 86 to 94 percent early in the pandemic, were running just 20 to 30 percent below normal as of mid-June, according to Epic, the electronic health records company. [...]

Intermountain Healthcare’s Breast Care Center in Murray, Utah, canceled 15,000 screening mammograms — used for women without symptoms — when the pandemic hit, then began to perform them again in May. Brett Parkinson, medical director of the center, said an estimated 5 out of 1,000 women who have mammograms will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and hospital officials didn’t want to postpone screenings any further. But even as Parkinson tries to reschedule thousands of tests, the breast care center is operating at two-thirds capacity at most, because of time-consuming cleanings between patients.
New U.S. health crisis looms as patients without COVID-19 delay care (Reuters / MSN, Jul. 13, 2020)
posted by katra at 4:05 PM on July 14, 2020

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