COVID-19 - A Round up
Suraj Kadaiwar and others report that the second wave of COVID infections has had a much more profound impact on pregnant women.
COVID-19 claims said to increase
Whilst CRU data and anecdotal evidence from insurers is that new claim notifications remain modest, the Daily Herald (3 May 2021) suggests that this may be set to change.
Quoting principally from 2 sources;
- Thompsons solicitors and
- Scottish Hazards (a charity for non-unionised workers)
the latter reported enquiries in new claims increasing from a “handful” to 400 a week.
Thompsons, Scotland are quoted as saying;
“We believe it will reach an unprecedented scale of claims for some time to come…so far...we have only just skimmed the surface”.
The second COVID-19 wave has a marked impact on pregnant women
Suraj Kadaiwar and others report (in an article published on 14 February 2021 in The Lancet) that the second wave of COVID infections from September 2020 has had a much more profound impact on pregnant women, both in respect of the number contracting COVID-19 and also an increase in those with the more severe forms of the disease.
The experience of both The Royal Brompton Hospital in London and other European countries was highlighted in this research.
Spain in particular was shown to have a ten times higher number of pregnant women hospitalised during the second wave than seen in the first whereas hospitalisations for the non pregnant population increased by only 30%.
Growing concern about COVID-19 malpractice litigation
Concern has been expressed by 20 regional health authorities in Italy about rising “malpractice litigation” consequent to the pandemic, reports The Lancet (23 April 2021).
Two main factors which are equally relevant to the UK are cited;
- Compassion fatigue amongst exhausted ICU workers.
- The absence (due to COVID-19 visitor restrictions) of daily contact with the patients’ family leading to a depersonalisation of medical care.
Studies show declining renal function in COVID-19 patients and ongoing muscle weakness, anxiety/depression in hospitalised patients.
A follow up study prepared by Huang and others (The Lancet, 17 May 2021) reveals that 13% of 822 study participants demonstrated declining renal function 7 months after contracting COVID-19. This was despite showing no evidence of acute kidney injury at the time of infection.
An earlier study by the same author of 1,733 patients revealed that 63% of prior hospitalised patients showed continued evidence of fatigue/muscle weakness months after disease contraction. A further 23% were reported as showing ongoing signs of anxiety and depression.
This second study underlines earlier research undertaken by the University of Leicester and the National Institute of Health Research (March 2021) which revealed that 7 out of 10 patients hospitalised with COVID-19 had not recovered 5 months on.
Further, a significant number complained of anxiety and depression, in some cases sufficient to meet the diagnostic criteria of “post traumatic stress disorder”.
COVID and Black Lung
Indian health authorities are reporting increasing incidence of severely ill COVID-19 patients demonstrating the condition Mucormycosis, hitherto a very rare fungal infection which affects vital organs including the lung and brain, causing them to rot.
Prior to the epidemic the condition was virtually unknown but regional medical authorities in India are reporting 4 to 5 patients a day with the condition.
Mucormycosis has a mortality rate of 50%, with the main effective treatment being removal of the infected organ to prevent the infection spreading to the brain.
There have been no reports of the condition in the UK.