Where are our patients? Retrospective cohort study of acute medical unit admissions during and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Peter W Lange, Meg Gazzard, Samantha Walker, Joshua J Hilton, Shasha Haycock, Jessica FR Wagstaff, Grantley A Ward
Internal Medicine Journal | Published : 2020
Admissions to hospital have declined markedly during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. This may be due to patients not presenting with acute illness or managing their chronic illness at home. We reviewed a cohort admitted to the Acute Medical Unit of the Royal Melbourne Hospital during and before the pandemic and found admissions were more acutely unwell and more comorbid. This may lead to worse outcomes for those not presenting, as well as those presenting late. We recommend a public health campaign to encourage Australians to present to hospital if unwell.