COVID-19 UK covid death rates

Lady Kelly

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I don't know if anyone has seen the news that our covid deaths are massively inaccurate. Basically anyone who dies who has had a positive covid test is being reported as a covid death. This can mean someone contracted covid months ago, recovered, died by other means and it's still reported as a covid death. This definitely explains why our death rates are so much higher than any other country. Sounds like the work is being done to go back in and refine this so I expect we will have an updated lower count in the future.

Not sure how far it goes but imagine being hit by a bus and getting registered as a covid death because you had a positive test in Feb!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/health-53443724
 
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DMS260820

My grandad or pap as I liked to name him, is proof of this. He didn't die from coronavirus, but a stroke from bleeding on the brain from a fall he had a few weeks before. Covid 19 went Down on the death certificate as 1 0f 4 reason of death
 

PigglePuggle

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Well it does help explain the anomaly that the death rate now isnt above the seasonal average really but we are still getting reports of roughly 100 covid deaths a day on average, and that isnt going down even though infections are... I suppose its better to over report than under report potential covid linked deaths, from a public health perspective!
 
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DMS260820

My grandad or pap as I liked to name him, is proof of this. He didn't die from coronavirus, but a stroke from bleeding on the brain from a fall he had a few weeks before. Covid 19 went Down on the death certificate as 1 0f 4 reason of death
May I just add. Covid 19 stopped my pap from getting the bleeding on the brain diagnosis fast, because the doctors and nurses had to focus on the virus first. Such a shame. He was stuck on covid wsrd, too risky to spread the virus by moving him to the correct ward
 

piggieminder

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I saw something about this right back at the start, funny how it's suddenly been picked up as news. Also you normally need two signatures on a death certificate, I have heard that with patient with COVID symptoms you only need one, leading me to think …..?
 

Siikibam

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I have heard this of recent. I think there was someone going through it on Sky News a day or two ago but I switched over.
Issue is they also didn’t include covid deaths in nursing homes before. So they were misreporting from the start...
 

Wiebke

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The reported death rates differ massively from country to country; it was just a scramble and a huge pressure when it all blew up everywhere. Not quite a surprise that Covid death rates are over-reported now as before they were under-reported when only hospital deaths were initially registered - but better be too safe than too sorry in terms of community deaths after the full horror and scope of the care home deaths emerged!
The UK won't be the only country fiddling around to get a clear count and having to redefine their reporting parameters. Several others have had to adjust their counting system, too - notably Spain and France.
And quite a few other countries are most decidedly fudged and vastly under-reported on all possible levels for face saving purposes or by simply not having adequate medical or registering facilities in the first place.

I hope that they can sort things out in retrospect and reorganise the reporting system (ideally centralise with much quicker daily updates) and with clearer guidelines now that they are under less pressure for a quick fix. It is one of these things that you have to run into blindly before you realise that your current reporting and counting system is not fit for purpose in a crisis.
The UK is not known internationally for their efficient and quick bureaucracy; a lot of it is still stuck decades behind the horizon compared to other countries. So when they had to make some very quick decisions in May/June while still mostly in lockdown as to what to count they decided to err on the side of caution by counting any certificate that mentioned Covid-19 as a potential contributary cause in view of the emerging care home/community deaths disaster - after all it is psychologically much better and by far less damaging to bereaved families' feelings and the nation's mood when you can reduce the real numbers rather than having to up them yet again in retrospect when there is the time for an in-depth review. I would expect the UK soaring world leading death rate percentage still coming out on top of Europe but hopefully a bit more in line with the other worst affected countries.

There is of course also the problem that far too little is known about the damage Covid-19 does to even healthy feeling survivors (indications are now that there is potentially permanent long term damage even in people with mild Covid-19) and how that can indirectly contribute to a death - in view that it affects the whole body, including the brain, and not just the respiratory system. I would think that there will be lots of discussions in this area for years to come. Having all those deaths officially listed in the UK gives the country at least a workable database for future research to see whether there are actually connections.

Just two weeks ago I noticed that the BBC area map had suddenly added nearly 500 new infections to our local area count of infected people from one day to the next (jumping from over 800 infections to suddenly over 1300 since March) which had to be clearly historic as we would have otherwise been in full lockdown right now!

The problem is that this is a much more complicated area than you would imagine - hence why countries cannot be necessarily directly compared. But the death percentage per 100,000 people in the UK is WAY above any of that of any other country so I would expect that to be caused by the way Covid-19 has been registered on death certificates.

It is perhaps no surprise that the other country which has included any out-of-hospital deaths from the start (Belgium) is the country with the second highest death percentage...
 

Lady Kelly

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The reported death rates differ massively from country to country; it was just a scramble and a huge pressure when it all blew up everywhere. Not quite a surprise that Covid death rates are over-reported now as before they were under-reported when only hospital death were registered - but better be too safe than too sorry in terms of community deaths after the full horror of the care homes deaths emerged!
The UK won't be the only country fiddling around to get a clear count and having to redefine their reporting parameters. Several others have had to adjust their counting system, too - notably Spain and France.
And quite a few other countries are most decidedly fudged and underreported on all possible levels for face saving purposes or by simply not having adequate medical or registering facilities in the first place.

I hope that they can sort things out in retrospect and reorganise the reporting system (ideally centralise with much quicker daily updates) and with clearer guidelines now that they are under less pressure for a quick fix. It is one of these things that you have to run into blindly before you realise that your current reporting and counting system is not fit for purpose in a crisis.
The UK is not known internationally for their efficient and quick bureaucracy; a lot of it is still stuck decades behind the horizon compared to other countries. So when they had to make some very quick decisions in May/June while still mostly in lockdown as to what to count they decided to err on the side of caution in view of the emergency care home/community deaths disaster - after all it is psychologically much better and by far less damaging to bereaved family's feelings and the nation's mood when you can reduce the real numbers than having to up them again in retrospect when there is the time for an in-depth review. I would expect the UK still coming out on top of Europe but hopefully a bit more in line with the other worst affected countries.

Just two weeks we had suddenly added nearly 500 new infections to our local area count of infected people which had to be clearly historic as we would have otherwise been in lockdown right now!
Yes I always found some countries count suspiciously low for what was being reported as a devastating effect on the country. I suppose I am more shocked that the UK was over rather than under reporting
 

eileen

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It is very true that covid 19 is a multi organ virus,it seems to effect the brain,kidneys,lungs, is some people.ive seen this 1st hand.much more research needs to be done.especially why men,etc seem to get more severe symptoms from covid 19.we are far from out of this pandemic,but will come in waves.
 
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DM090820

I saw something about this right back at the start, funny how it's suddenly been picked up as news. Also you normally need two signatures on a death certificate, I have heard that with patient with COVID symptoms you only need one, leading me to think …..?
It was part of the enabling legislation when this all started, to free up medical staff they removed most of the post Shipman requirements for issuing death certificates, it's reasonable as, at the time we were all convinced the hospitals would be clogged up and we'd be sticking thousands in convention centers.
 
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DM090820

I'd also add, that as part of those changes there's no requirement to autopsy those that have tested positive, without a very compelling reason, the test can be carried out post mortem - again this is because autopsy is an invasive aerosol generating procedure, which would have put pathologists at unnecessary risk.

There can be several causes of death listed on death certificates, but the reporting procedure will count a death if they have a postive test, which is why they are reported as having died 'with' rather than 'from' COVID, this has always been the case - and it is frankly something I'd expect the health secretary to know, he does after all have to personally sign the statutory instruments he claims, to not, now be aware of - but then again, he's always been considered to be next in line to Grayling in terms of intelligence.

EDIT TO ADD - 02:47 - PHE has made mistakes, but they're an executive agency under the Sec for Health. Primary care is largely intact, but the hospitals have stuggled, it's been variable from region to region, and they're now enjoying respite, but having spoken to several involved, they're hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst in future. I'd also add, for those worrying, that most of the powers granted are under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984, which was an Act to address the AIDS crises, and includes quite a lot of draconian powers. The government, would, however have been perfectly entitled to invoke the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to deal with this, and they would, at the time have commanded the requesite votes the enable it, it grants the government virtually unlimited power, but they chose the public health route. As it stands, the contracts to run the 'Nightingale' hospitals have been extended until next March.

It is depressing, that I've reached the conclusion that the forum staff, and our helpers would have been better placed to deal with this pandemic.
 

LucyP

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Using death certificates is tricky as some will be wrongly recorded as covid and others will be wrongly recorded as not covid, but it is not easy, for the reasons already mentioned. Many people say the best measure is to look at the excess deaths we’ve had compared to previous years - the UK is not doing well when we look at it this way though!
 

Bill & Ted

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Even in normal non Covid times reporting on Death Certificates can be skewed. When my MIL died they put Diabetes Type 2 on her Death Certificate. We had to write to the hospital as she was Type 1 from when she was 23 years old post pregnancy complication and had Type 1 over sixty years! When we heard about reports of epidemic numbers of Type 2 diabetes within the population you do have to wonder just how accurate the data is. The same issue happened when my father who died within 24 hours after a fall. His death certificate stated Vascular Dementia, he did not have dementia, he died of pneumonia from the shock of the fall.
 
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DM090820

On the news the other day, a man who died in a motorcycle accident was listed as Covid-19 death. He was tested positive for Covid-19 during an autopsy.
It happens, it's difficult to be statistically rigorous with the restrictions they have to operate under - a death certificate is usually a doctors informed opinion on the likely cause of death, and in 'peace time', another doctor has to agree with that cause - although there's an old medical joke, that if you can't think of a cause of death, just write asphixia, as all deaths are ultimately a result of it, whatever the primary cause. Death certificates only exist in English law to prevent murders going undetected, specifically poisoning, which there was a lot of hysteria about in the past.
 
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DM090820

He's clearly nervous, does this guy normally do public speaking before covid 19?
Yes, and on every occasion he's made an utter prat of himself - he's sort of a 'Tim Nice but Dim' character, he's not a political zealot, he's quite moderate, but he's very confident, but lacks the substance. To be honest I think the PM put him in the position to reward him for political support, as it's usually a very harmless cabinet post, the NHS has been reformed in a way so as to essentially be self-managing, to take the blame away from politicians, but I'm sure BJ would have loved to replace him when the seriousness arised- except a change of leadership in that role in the current situation would be politically difficult - although I don't like the man, Gove would have been a better choice to head the department, he's a very efficient administrator, and he would have been sure to be in full possession of the facts. Grayling is a typical example of the 'peter principle', however many times he's put in a new role he makes a complete disaster of it, but he's then promoted to another one - again it's because he's politically loyal. The Labour party do have their own versions of these individuals, of course.
 
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