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Royal Surrey Staff Feel Treatment Approach Has Kept Covid-19 Survival Rate High

Published on: 7 Jul, 2020
Updated on: 7 Jul, 2020

The Royal Surrey County Hospital

Staff at the Royal Surrey County Hospital believe their method of treating Covid-19 patients is a major reason for their death rate being lower than other hospitals.

Their doctors have relied less on invasive mechanical ventilation or IMV, using it only as a last resort because of lower survival rates, The Dragon NEWS was told. They prefer continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.

There have been 97 Covid-related deaths at the RSCH Trust compared with 362 at Frimley, 273 at Epsom, 257 in East Surrey and 182 at Ashford, but the hospital sizes differ as do other factors such as demographics and catchment areas.

Table showing Covid Related Deaths at the RSCH, other Surrey hospitals and a selection of hospitals in surrounding counties and London boroughs.

Several sources have confirmed the belief held by Royal Surrey staff, but the official hospital Trust’s cautious response was: “It is not possible to draw any conclusions about the potential causes of different mortality rates across individual hospital Trusts.

“The Trust is contributing towards a national study examining various contributing factors in mortality rates, including treatment options and the demographics of the local population.

“We, like all other Trusts, are continuously adapting our response in line with national guidance to create the best possible patient outcomes.”
There were no Covid-related deaths reported at the RSCH last week (ending July 5) and only a single Covid death reported in June.

The pandemic front-line focus is now switching to preparing for local outbreaks. The change this week in reporting statistics should help.

Councils are now being provided with infection source by postcode which will enable them to concentrate on certain streets or even, in some cases, on individual buildings.

Where a collection of cases is observed, anyone in close contact with those who have tested positive can be tracked and traced. Customers entering pubs and restaurants now must give contact details so they can be contacted if a positive test result is later found in someone present.

But if someone has gone to a shop or supermarket where social distancing is difficult and not always observed, tracing all contacts will be impossible.

The infection rate in Surrey is still reported to be low: the vital “R-rate” is thought to be between 0.7 and 0.9. If R-rate rises above one infections will increase.

In Guildford, the number of reported infections at hospitals in the last week of June was zero and from now results from testing centres such as the one at the Onslow Park & Ride, mobile tests and home tests will be included.

But with 13 new cases reported in Surrey in the last 24 hours (July 6-7) those managing the pandemic will be remaining vigilant.

See also: Local Covid-19 Stats – updated weekly.

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