Hundreds of people die every day from covid-19. According to the Ministry of Health, there were 223 deaths on Tuesday, less than two hundred the day before. Doctors from the University Hospital at St. Anne’s in Brno came up with a warning finding. According to experts from the Institute of Forensic Medicine, some of them die suddenly at home without getting to the hospital.
During the spring wave of the pandemic, doctors in Brno assumed that they would come across a person with coronavirus more or less accidentally when detecting a sudden death, for example after a car accident or injury. And indeed, until September 22, they did not record any such case. But then came a major turning point. “Since then, at the end of October, we have had a total of 32 such cases in which people died at home without knowing the cause,” said Tomáš Vojtíšek, head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine.
In three-quarters of the cases, doctors found at autopsy that the immediate cause of death was viral pneumonia due to covid-19. “Another 16 percent were thrombotic conditions associated with fatal pulmonary thromboembolism, ie blood clotting disorders, and in three people the association of death with coronavirus was not demonstrable,” the head added.
In the last week of October, the deaths from coronavirus accounted for a quarter of all autopsies performed by doctors there. The average age of the deceased subjected to autopsy was 69 years. “Despite the relatively small number of cases so far, covid-19 has the potential to lead to sudden or unexpected deaths outside healthcare facilities without limiting the availability of inpatient care due to overload. So far, almost all patients in the Czech Republic have died during hospitalization, “added Vojtíšek.
Doctors from the Institute of Forensic Medicine also work in protective equipment, although the deaths of the deceased are lower. The autopsy takes two hours, and the processing and evaluation of the entire case takes much more time, including the evaluation of laboratory and microscopic examinations.