Friday, August 21, 2020

More Evidence That This Panic Is Not Public Health Driven

 8/17/20 Colorado Sun:

When the new coronavirus first swept through Colorado earlier this year, baffling doctors with its myriad of symptoms and methods of spread, Dr. Brian Stauffer, the head of cardiology at Denver Health, soon began to notice a different kind of pandemic mystery.

People, it seemed, had stopped having heart attacks.

At Denver Health and other large hospitals across the metro area, the number of people showing up with cardiac emergencies dropped significantly as the state imposed increasingly strict measures encouraging people to stay at home to slow the virus’ spread. And this was not unique to Colorado — hospitals across the country and in Europe documented the same phenomenon. Had stay-at-home orders somehow also slowed heart attacks or were people in need of medical help simply not seeking it for fear of COVID-19?

new study from Stauffer and several Denver Health colleagues offers the first clue to the answer in Colorado. Looking at data on ambulance calls in Denver, they found that, while overall calls for service went down during the stay-at-home period, the number of people dying from cardiac arrests at home shot up.

Stauffer’s team found that cardiac arrests at home in Denver more than doubled in the two weeks after the statewide stay-at-home order was issued compared with historical averages. Even compared with more recent data, the weekly average of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests jumped to 46 during those two weeks, versus 26 or 27 in the three months prior....

Stauffer said it is possible that some of the cardiac arrests during the stay-at-home period were the direct result of coronavirus infection. Few of the deaths resulted in autopsies, he said, and testing for the virus at the time was still quite limited — so it’s possible some were undiagnosed COVID-19 cases.

But he doesn’t think that’s the predominant explanation. Instead, he said it’s more likely that people who were having heart attacks tried to brush them off to avoid going to the hospital. Without treatment, that would lead to damage in their hearts that would cause a cardiac arrest.

“People tend to downplay things under normal circumstances and then, when they’re afraid to go to the hospital, they tend to downplay them even more,” Stauffer said. 

It appears that heart attack deaths rose, driving up total deaths.  This is no surprise.  Heart attacks (technically myocardial infarcts) are often ignored until too late.  Men try to tough it out and ignore pain and other symptoms; women have different symptoms and also often ignore the signs.

So much evidence suggests the seriousness of COVID-19 (which is actually a serious problem by itself) relative to other public problems has been exaggerated for political purposes.  Social and broadcast media have no shortage of control freaks and the easily terrified to manipulate.

I wonder how many died of heart attacks compared to COVID-19 deaths?

Some of the panicmongers are saying that of course cardiac deaths rose at home during the lockdown: more people were at home to have heart attacks.  But most people are home about 16 hours a day.  During lockdown that goes up 50% to 24 hours a day.  Even then, if you are having serious symptoms absent a COVID panic, most will very likely go to the ER at some point.  (In many cases, too late, of course, but those would show up as hospital deaths.)

1 comment:

  1. Seems to me that if a person dies of a heart attack (or other cause) because they are afraid to seek medical help due to COVID-19, then all those deaths would be legitimate COVID-19 deaths.