Two-thirds of Brazil’s coronavirus ICU patients died

patients icu Marcelo Seabra / Ag. Pará
Doctors transport Covid-19 patient to an ICU in Pará state. Photo: Marcelo Seabra/Ag. Pará

A study by the Brazilian Intensive Medicine Association shows that two out of every three patients who required intubation following severe Covid-19 infections did not survive. Among those who did not require ventilators, the mortality rate is just 9 percent.

The data suggest that infected Brazilian patients are waiting too long before seeking hospital treatment, potentially out of fear. “Patients must understand that, in severe cases, going to a hospital is sometimes the only way to avoid death,” study coordinator Ederlon Rezende told news website UOL.

A joint study by eight flagship hospitals and pollsters revealed in February that 25 percent of intubated Covid-19 patients died within six months after leaving the hospital.

Occupancy rates in intensive care units are at critical levels in two-thirds of Brazil’s 27 states. In nine of them, rates are over 90 percent. Over the weekend, a Supreme Court justice ordered the federal government to reactivate ICU beds in São Paulo, Maranhão, and Bahia. Justice Rosa Weber said it is not “scientifically defensible” for a government to shut down hospital beds while the pandemic is getting worse.

On Facebook, President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the crisis, saying that “healthcare in Brazil has always had its problems.”

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