Covid Scotland: Around three quarters of Covid-19 hospitalisations 'because of' the virus

Around three-quarters of Covid-19 hospitalisations are connected to people who have been admitted “because of” the virus rather than simply being infected with it, new data shows.

New analysis from Public Health Scotland published on Wednesday shows that between January and June, between 66 per cent and 78 per cent of all Covid-19 hospitalisations were “because of” the virus.

This is defined as individuals in hospital with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19.

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A Covid patient at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert. Picture: JPIMedia

Daily figures relating to hospitalisations, reported by the Scottish Government, instead classify patients as being in hospital “with” Covid, whereby someone tested positive for the virus up to 14 days prior to admission, on the day of their admission, or while they are in hospital.

Statistics also published by the health watchdog show a steady reduction in the length of time spent in hospital for Covid-19 patients.

The highest percentage of patients with Covid-19 who were hospitalised ‘because of’ the virus was 78 per cent across the month of January, the figures show.

This dropped to a low of 66 per cent in April, before rising to 72 per cent in May and June.

Public Health Scotland said this analysis was necessary to help “inform Scotland’s public health response”.

The figures based on data from six NHS health boards – NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Dumfries and Galloway, Grampian, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lothian and Tayside.

The average length of hospital stay for those with Covid was also longest in January at 14.8 days, dropping to 11.8 in February, 8.5 in March, 5.9 in April, and 6.5 days in May.

In June, hospital stays dropped to their lowest duration of 4.7 days.

Those hospitalised “because of” Covid saw similar average hospital stays, with 13 days the average stay in January, down to 11 in February, 8.4 in March, six in April, and then 6.3 in May.

This dropped again in June to just over five days as an average stay (5.1).

A continuous stay is defined as an “unbroken period of time” as an inpatient, regardless of whether there is a change of consultant, hospital, specialty or facility during their period in hospital.

On Tuesday, 2,370 new cases of Covid-19 were reported, with 16 new deaths.

In total, 73 people are in intensive care, with 1,027 people in hospital “with” Covid-19.

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