“We had no idea how horrific this would be”

A new Lancet study of 2 Manhattan hospitals underscores COVID-19’s outsize impact on the elderly.
During the “catastrophic” months of March and April, no critically ill patients under 30 died in the 2 facilities. But among people over 80 who went on a ventilator, over 80% did not survive. The findings broadly mirror similar studies in China and Europe.
“We had no idea how horrific this would be,” senior author Max O’Donnell told The Washington Post.
The majority of critically ill patients were men over age 60 with hypertension and diabetes. Nearly half were obese—but researchers do not yet understand how the condition may influence COVID-19 severity.
Different hospital systems, however, have seen widely varying results—in part because of constantly shifting protocols as hospitals scrambled early in the outbreak, the Post notes.

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