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How Over 25,000 COVID-19 Patients Got Infected With The Virus While Being Treated In The Hospital For Something Else

More than 25,000 patients have caught coronavirus in hospital since the second wave of the pandemic began in September.

According to UK Daily Mail, one in six Covid-19 patients in NHS hospitals in England were infected while being treated for other conditions, according to internal Health Service figures.

So far this month, 5,684 Covid-positive in-patients out of 44,315 – about one in eight – were infected after being admitted for other conditions.

An intensive care consultant in the Midlands said that he took a 'snapshot' of all the patients in his unit on one day last month and found that 40 per cent of them had been infected in hospital.

A specialist Covid nurse treating people at home said many of her patients had contracted the virus in hospital and were re-admitted when their conditions worsened.

The nurse said one elderly lady, originally admitted after breaking a rib in a fall, was now critically ill and had passed the virus on to two close relatives while at home.

And a daughter has lodged an official complaint over her mother's death. Susan Colborne, 52, claims Pamela Clifford would be alive today if Royal Stoke Hospital had delayed her cancer surgery.

The 72-year-old oesophageal cancer sufferer had health complications that put her at risk of Covid-19, Mrs Colborne said. The hospital has launched an investigation.

Sage, the Government's scientific advisory group, highlighted the problem last month.

'It can be clearly seen that the proportion of infections that were acquired in hospital steadily increased throughout October and November,' its pandemic modelling sub-group noted.

An NHS spokesman claimed that in-hospital infections have now fallen to 7.7 per cent. He added: 'High community infections and crowded hospitals – in some cases with over half their beds occupied with Covid patients – increases the risk, so the overriding goal has to be to bring community transmission back under control.'

Separate figures showed that the majority of coronavirus deaths are still among the elderly.

Jason Oke, from Oxford university's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, found the median age at which people had died from Covid-19 in October was 82.4.

He said this has barely changed, and now stands at 82.3 across the pandemic. The median age for all other causes of death since March is 81.4.

Figures from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre show that the age of patients needing intensive care for Covid has also increased.

The median figure has risen from 59 in the first wave to 62 for the period from September.

Dr Oke said: 'The figures suggest that if the Government meets its target of offering a vaccine to everyone over 70 by mid-February, we should expect a huge dent in the numbers of people dying.' The Medical Research Council also confirmed that the chances of surviving the disease have significantly improved, thanks to a wider range of treatments.

It estimates the proportion of people infected who will die has fallen from 1.3 per cent in the first wave to 0.94 per cent.

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