Thousands of excess deaths during pandemic peak
A major new study has identified 2,085 excess deaths in England and Wales due to heart disease and stroke during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On average, that is 17 deaths each day over four months that probably could have been prevented.
Excess deaths are the number of deaths above what is normally expected – and the figure relates to the period from 2 March to 30 June, 2020.
Scientists believe the excess deaths were caused by people not seeking emergency hospital treatment for a heart attack or other acute cardiovascular illness requiring urgent medical attention, either because they were afraid of contracting COVID-19 or were not referred for treatment.
Over the same period, there was a sharp rise in the proportion of people who died at home or in a care home from acute cardiovascular diseases.
It is entirely plausible that a number of deaths could have been prevented if people had attended hospital quickly when they began to experience their heart attack or stroke
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