According to this study published in “The Lancet Public Health”, only about a third of these “additional” cardiac arrests recorded during confinement are believed to be directly associated with Covid-19. Survival was halved upon arrival at the hospital. Over the period studied, only 12.8% of identified patients arrived alive on arrival at the hospital, compared to 22.8% in the same period in previous years.
Stress, breakdown of medical monitoring: several hypotheses have been put forward
To explain the other two-thirds, several hypotheses are put forward by the researchers.
“There have been breakdown of medical follow-up of patients, because they were unable to consult, they _afraid of embarrassing_, hence a delay in the call, or fear, for some, of being contaminated in the hospital “ details Professor Eloi Marijon of Inserm.
It also evokes less regular monitoring of cardiac patients. Another factor to take into account: more than 90% of arrests took place at home, with witnesses, most often the family, and longer rescue supplies to arrive despite the empty roads. “There were probably difficulties in reaching the emergency services, on 15 (Samu) and 18 (firefighters) with longer waiting times”, he adds.
Collateral deaths to be taken into account in the future
“This increase in the incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests highlights collateral deaths, not taken into account in Covid-19 death statistics”, according to the authors for whom this should be taken into account in the future in public health strategies.
The results of the study allow “better understand the consequences of this crisis, lessons to be learned, also to better react in the event of a 2nd wave “ says Nicole Karam, also a researcher at Inserm. She judges “necessary to find a balance” between taking charge of the epidemic and monitoring other patients.
An increase in the incidence of cardiac arrest has been observed elsewhere, in New York, California, and in Italy, especially in Lombardy.