Duke Hospital COVID-19 patients returning for readmission


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed a patient’s battle with COVID-19 is not always over when they leave the hospital.

Their findings say one in 11 patients, or 9 percent, are having to be readmitted within two months of hospital discharge.

On Tuesday, North Carolina reported 1,230 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. According to the CDC’s finding, 110 of Tuesday’s patients alone could potentially be back in the hospital in a few weeks.

“Patients who are back in the hospital and are having to be readmitted are ones we would worry about more than the average patient,” said Dr. Thomas Holland, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University.

Holland said Duke Hospital was seeing some patients coming back to be readmitted. He said some are returning with complications from the virus-like blood clots. He said others are returning because of underlying conditions that may have been exasperated by COVID-19.

“It can be difficult to untangle what’s COVID and what’s something else when patients return and they’re still sick or are sick for a second time,” Holland said.

The CDC says returning patients have a few things in common:

  • Most are 65 years of age or older
  • Have a chronic medical condition
  • Discharged to a nursing facility or required home health care
  • Hospitalized three months prior to covid19 infection.

“2020 has felt really long and the pandemic has felt really long in a lot of ways but in the big picture we’re really early in the way we understand this virus,” said Dr. Holland.

Hospitalizations rise

The finding comes as North Carolina’s hospitalization rates slowly climb. The state has 23,000 hospital beds throughout the state. About 5-percent of beds were occupied by coronavirus patients Tuesday.

Below is a list of COVID-10 hospitalizations in North Carolina since the start of the pandemic.:

  • Nov. 10: 1,230 (5.3 percent occupied)
  • Oct. 10: 1,034 (4.4 percent occupied)
  • Sept. 10: 928 (4 percent occupied)
  • Aug. 10: 1109 (4.8 percent occupied)
  • July 10: 1046 (4.5 percent occupied)
  • June 10: 780 (3.3 percent occupied)
  • May 10: 442(1.9 percent occupied)
  • April: 423 (1.8 percent occupied)
Source: The COVID Tracking Project

The COVID Tracking Project tracks COVID-19 data from all 50 states. Its analysis shows COVID-19 related hospitalizations are up in every region of the country. However, the midwest region is seeing the biggest hospitalization numbers. The south is seeing the second most number of cases though the numbers have not reached historical highs.

At this point, North Carolina has higher hospitalization rate than South Carolina and Virginia. It’s numbers are still below Tennessee and Georgia.

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