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Coronavirus, Critical Care and Obesity

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It’s important to look behind the Coronavirus headlines and to focus on the facts.

We continually do this to make sure you have the best information available to you. The best place to find reliable data is through official sources. One of the reports that gives great insight into Coronavirus is the ICNARC report which is published by the Department of Health. The ICNARC report provides information about people with the virus who have been admitted to critical care units.

The latest report, dated 24th April, makes very interesting, if not troubling, reading. Some important headlines are:

– Admissions to Critical Care are now in decline, as we would expect,

– Many patients are still in Critical Care but of those who have left, approx half were discharged and sadly half died.

– The results are more sombre for those who are admitted to Critical Care and who require ventillation. Sadly 65% of those patients die

– Results vary by ethnicity and by body mass index. For some reason, those of Black, Asian, Mixed Ethnic (BAME) background are at greater risk from the virus.

– It’s also clear that those with a BMI above 40 also face increased risk and are more than twice as likely to need critical care support than average.

The report underlines what we already know; that for the vast majority of people Covid 19 is a relatively minor illness but for those who need hospitalisation, and critical care treatment, it’s very serious indeed.

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Rishi Singhal

Rishi is an expert bariatric surgeon based in the West Midlands and also Medical Director at Healthier Weight

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