Cost of Lockdown: Heart Charity Claims Hundreds of Excess Deaths Due to Lockdown

WEXHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Image released on May 27, Patient Chay Godfrey is treated by staff nurse Elia Sarno in the Emergency Department at Wexham Park Hospital near Slough on May 22, 2020 in Wexham, United Kingdom. A&E services at the hospital have remained open throughout the pandemic with …
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The British Heart Foundation has said that delays in care caused by the coronavirus lockdown resulted in more than 800 “excess” deaths of under-65s by conditions like strokes and cardiac arrests.

Mortality data since March found that in England and Wales, there were 2,800 deaths of those under 65 where the underlying cause was pulmonary or heart disease. This was around 450 more than expected. The charity said that between May and July, there were 3,100 such deaths, 350 more than expected for that time of year.

There were no excess deaths in this age range between January and March, according to The Telegraph, suggesting the March lockdown and heavy social distancing rules resulting in Britons not seeking or receiving the healthcare they needed. In late March, admissions to accident and emergency services for suspected heart attacks had dropped by half.

The BHF’s associate medical director, Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, said: “We know there are tragic consequences of the pandemic for patients with heart and circulatory diseases, and these figures further highlight that delays in care are likely contributing to more deaths than we would expect to see otherwise.”

Dr Babu-Narayan added that it was “particularly concerning” that this trend was continuing even after the peak of the pandemic had passed. Thousands are still believed to be waiting for examinations related to heart and pulmonary conditions.

Research from DATA-CAN in July predicted that there might be 35,000 excess deaths from cancer within a year due to the backlog of screenings and treatment appointments. It is believed that nearly one million women missed out on breast cancer screening because of the lockdown, according to a report from last month.

The National Health Service (NHS) and care homes are currently under scrutiny after the Care Quality Commission (CQC) watchdog launched an investigation at the beginning of this week into allegations that ‘do not resuscitate’ orders were being placed on groups of individuals simply because of their age or preexisting medical conditions, such as if they have serious diseases, in case they caught the coronavirus.

Reports have been circulating since the beginning of the March lockdown that general practitioners were either enforcing or encouraging patients, care homes, and other social and care service providers to put blanket DNR orders on the elderly, sick children, and even autistic people.

A report from last month revealed that the National Health Service (NHS) had ordered around ten per cent of care homes to put DNRs in their residents’ files, as well as telling them that there was a strict “no admissions” to hospital policy if their elderly charges caught the virus.

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