Studies indicate COVID-19 mortality rates are declining


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Two studies, which have appeared in the Journal for Hospital Medicine and the Journal for Critical Care, both indicate COVID-19 mortality rates are declining.

“A study was done in a university healthcare system in New York of three different hospitals, and they looked at approximately 5,100 hospitalizations,” Dr. Jospeh Gastaldo from OhioHealth said. “They really showed a significant drop in their adjusted mortality rate. They showed an 18 percent decreased chance of dying, or mortality, when they looked at people dying of COVID-19 when they were hospitalized in March 2020, when comparing it to August 2020.”

Dr. Gastaldo said while these studies were not conducted in Ohio, the state is also seeing a decline in COVID-19 deaths.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio’s seven-day moving average of deaths reached it’s peak of 49 on May 24. As of October 26, the state’s seven-day moving average of deaths stood at 20.

“I feel confident in saying that the state of Ohio mortality rates are trending in the right direction,” Dr. Gastaldo said.

He also attributes the declining mortality rates to a number of factors including the fact that communities are taking better care of vulnerable populations. He also says doctors and hospitals are learning more about treatments and how to care for COVID-19 patients.

“We are more comfortable taking care of patients,” he said. “We have better management strategies in place. We know about dexamethasone increasing your chances of living and we have the availability of IV remdesivir, which is an anti-viral medication.”

Remdesivir received FDA approval last week. Dr. Gastaldo said he is hopeful more treatments are made available soon to further aid in the treatment of COVID-19.

“When you look at other viruses like HIV, it’s not one continual medication,” he said. “It’s a cocktail of various things. It looks like when we manage people with COVID-19, I think that’s what’s going to happen is we’re going to have a cocktail of treatments that people get together.”

Dr. Gastaldo said while the news surrounding mortality rates is promising, it does not mean that anyone should ease off the COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing and staying home when sick.

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