Data show hospitalized Covid-19 patients are surviving at higher rates, but surge in cases could roll back gains
Patients hospitalized with Covid-19 are surviving at higher rates than in the early days of the pandemic, gains that data and interviews with experts suggest are driven by a more refined understanding of the disease and how to treat it — and, crucially, less strain on hospitals that had been inundated at times.
Other factors have contributed to the improved outcomes: Steroids that help save some lives are being used more widely, and people infected after the initial surge were, as a whole, younger and arrived at the hospital earlier in the course of the disease.
But clinicians warn that this progress won’t withstand what happens when crushes of patients again overwhelm hospitals, as is now occurring in dozens of U.S. states. With the country setting new records of hospitalizations daily, care is getting threatened, and death rates — not just deaths — could increase.