Healthcare worker mortality, China

Four intensive care medics based in China and New Mexico wrote to New England Journal of Medicine yesterday about statistics from China showing the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workers in the country (1):

  • 4.4% of COVID-19 patients were healthcare workers (3387 of 77,262, 24.2.20)

  • 0.7% of COVID-19 deaths were healthcare workers (23 of 3387, 3.4.20)

  • The median age of those who died was 55 years (range 29-72 years)

  • 74% of those who died were male (17 men, 6 women)

  • 48% of those who died had retured from retirement (11 of 23)

  • Only 8.7% of those who died had been assigned to COVID-19 positive patient areas (2 of 23) leading the authors to advise that sufficient PPE precautions are important in preventing healthcare worker deaths in all clinical areas

Read the full article

The UK government has confirmed 27 deaths of healthcare workers from COVID-19, which would represent around 0.2% of total hospital deaths (2).

Deaths in the community are not being included within the current UK statistics. Healthcare professional death toll is not fully known and may be higher.

The team at Nursing Notes are recording health and social care worker deaths and report 61 deaths as of 10:30am on 17.4.20, which would represent 0.44% of total hospital deaths. However, a number of these colleagues died at home (3).

Our thoughts are with all those who have lost family members, friends and colleagues.

References

1. Mingkun Zhan, Yaxun Qin, Xiang Xue, Shuaijun Zhu. Death from Covid-19 of 23 Health Care Workers in China. The New England Journal of Medicine. April 16, 2020. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2005696

2. BBC. Coronavirus: remembering the NHS workers who have died. [Online] Available from: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52242856 [Accessed 16.4.20]

3. Public Health England. Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. [Online] https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/ [Accessed 17.4.20]

Written by Dr Rachel Coles, paediatric trainee, on 16.4.20

Updated by Dr Rachel Coles on 17.4.20

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