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Number of elderly coronavirus patients in hospitals has risen

A sign post at West Tallinn Central Hospital.
A sign post at West Tallinn Central Hospital. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The number of elderly patients admitted to hospital with coronavirus has risen and lengths of hospital stays have increased, the Health Board's emergency medical manager Dr. Urmas Sule has said.

Statistics show that in the last two weeks, 77 percent of people needing treatment for coronavirus are over 60 years old. The number of people over 90 needing treatment was 8 percent which is 36 people, rising from 6 percent last week.

The number of people treated over the last two weeks is 446, which is a third more than the previous two weeks which saw 331 people treated in hospitals across the country.

In the autumn, fewer people were admitted to hospital and stays were short as coronavirus was spreading among young and middle-aged people and has milder symptoms. But as coronavirus severely affects older people, the length of hospital stays has increased.

Sule said patients stay the longest at Ida-Viru Hospital where the average is currently 10 days, in most other hospitals it is between seven and 10.

"The duration of treatment depends on the severity of the disease," he said "Where there are more intensive care patients, the average time of treatment is longest."

The time spent in intensive care is the longest at the North Estonia Medical Center (PERH) in Tallinn, where it averages 15 days. A person treated in the intensive care unit may have been in hospital before moving into intensive care and will likely spend time in hospital after they have left the unit.

As fewer patients have been admitted to intensive care, there are fewer statistics but there are currently 28 people in intensive care in Estonia, 16 of them are using ventilators and the majority are recieving treated at Tartu University Hospital and PERH. There are currently 324 patients with coronavirus receiving general treatment.

Sule said general treatment of patients has not changed compared to the spring and is similar to other viral diseases.

He also said the mortality rate is higher when older patients are ill. "In recent weeks, everyone who has died has been elderly and has many comorbidities," Sule said.

The majority of people who have died have been over 70, in the spring the average age was over 80.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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