Almost 750 people died after contracting Covid in hospital - report

HSE says figures here are in line with those anticipated by ECDC

 

Approximately 15 per cent of all coronavirus-related deaths in Ireland have been of people who contracted the virus while in an acute hospital, according to a report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

The report notes that 744 people who died with Covid-19 caught it in an outbreak in an acute hospital. The figures, contained in a HPSC weekly surveillance report, relate to deaths throughout the pandemic up to May 1st of this year.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) told TG4’s Nuacht that the number of hospital-acquired Covid-19 deaths is proportionally in line with those anticipated in communications from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

A HSE spokesperson said it is not generally possible to be certain where and when a person became infected with the virus. However, the HSE uses a “standard definition” of hospital-acquired Covid-19 infection that takes into account the ECDC case definition, which excludes most cases of community-acquired infections.

“There is extensive testing of people on admission to hospital and while in hospital to help find people with infection as quickly as possible so that measures can be taken to reduce the risk of spread of infection to others,” the spokesperson added.

The Department of Health confirmed last month to Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín that the family of a person who contracted the virus in hospital and subsequently died is suing the State.

The report also shows that 18 healthcare workers have died after contracting Covid-19.

Meanwhile, 2,053 people who died with Covid-19 caught it in a nursing home outbreak, accounting for 42 per cent of all coronavirus-related deaths up to May 1st.

Covid-19 outbreaks in community hospitals or long-stay units were linked to the deaths of 121 people, while 111 people died in residential institutions after contracting the virus there.

Throughout the pandemic there have been 241 outbreaks in acute hospitals. The HSE told TG4’s Nuacht that the number of hospital-acquired Covid-19 cases has reduced by over 98 per cent since the height of the third wave of the pandemic in January of this year. The HPSC was notified of just one hospital outbreak in the week leading to May 1st, according to a weekly outbreak report.