Colorado’s COVID-19 patients fared better in May than at pandemic’s start, hospital data shows

Death rate for hospitalized patients dropped from more than 15% in March and April to about 10.5% in May
Posted at 3:24 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 17:24:22-04

Colorado patients who contracted the novel coronavirus in May fared better than those infected in March, and that’s at least partly due to new knowledge their doctors gained about how to care for them, according to a report issued Tuesday by seven health systems.

The death rate for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Colorado dropped from more than 15% in March and April to about 10.5% in May. The health systems didn’t run a statistical analysis to rule out random fluctuations or changes in the patient population, but increasing knowledge likely played a role, said Dr. William Neff, chief medical officer at UCHealth.

“Clearly there was a change in the way we were able to care for the patients,” he said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

The average hospital stay also fell from about 12 days to 7 days over that period. COVID-19 patients who needed ventilators spent more time in the hospital than other patients, but their average stay also was shorter in May than in March, the earliest days of the pandemic.

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