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Potentially stupid question about death toll

(30 Posts)
carriebreadshaw Wed 15-Apr-20 08:53:47

I'm sorry but I can't find what I'm looking for online.

Along with everyone else I've read that C19 deaths that have occurred in care homes and outside of hospitals aren't being included in death toll figures. Is this the case all over the world or just here in the Uk?

Because if it's just in the UK this is happening then surely our true death toll must be higher than anywhere?!

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THATscurryfungeBITCH Wed 15-Apr-20 08:55:12

I think it differs in different countries but italys numbers do include deaths in the community so we have more deaths than they do

dementedpixie Wed 15-Apr-20 09:01:05

Those figures are calculated on a tuesday in england and wednesday in scotland but there is a time lag due to delays in registering the death

MRex Wed 15-Apr-20 09:02:38

Hospitals can confirm deaths immediately under new reporting processes. In the community they need the registered death certificates with cause of death, which lags by about a week, longer over Easter. You can see updated figures on ONS, you just need to be aware the community deaths run a week behind.

Of course it would be good to have the information available immediately, but that relies on every community doctor having to log deaths in the same way that a hospital does, which doesn't seem realistic given that the doctor is often not physically with the patient when they die. There will always be some degree of lag for anyone who needs an autopsy too.

JungleGiraffe Wed 15-Apr-20 09:06:54

Yeah I think missing the community deaths out of the statistics is very sneaky. We almost certainly do have more deaths than Italy, France or Spain BUT we have a larger population than them too. A deaths per 100000 figure would be more useful for comparing.

SonEtLumiere Wed 15-Apr-20 09:07:53

My understanding is that this is also an issue in other countries.

cathyandclare Wed 15-Apr-20 09:19:52

I think it's just in Ireland, France and Germany that official data on deaths includes those in care setting. Spain and Italy don't include those figures, but release them at a later stage like the UK.

I don't think the US includes community/care in the Federal Govt figures either ( not totally sure about that although there have been some news reports- please correct me if you know!)

carriebreadshaw Wed 15-Apr-20 09:28:53


So is it a case of those deaths just being delayed in being reported, or that they're not included at all?

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carriebreadshaw Wed 15-Apr-20 09:29:58

If they are just reported after a delay that makes more sense - I didn't appreciate it was a logging issue, feel a bit stupid but thanks.

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CatteStreet Wed 15-Apr-20 09:31:25

In Germany (AIUI) it's anyone who died with a positive test, wherever that death happened.

There was a bit on this on the latest episode of More or Less on R4 where they had someone on explaining that there is a significant time lag.

CatteStreet Wed 15-Apr-20 09:31:45

Edition, not episode.

cathyandclare Wed 15-Apr-20 09:34:04

They're in the overall ONS death figures that are released on a Tuesday ( and reported in the news) but NOT incorporated into the daily released figures.

carriebreadshaw Wed 15-Apr-20 09:35:07

Ahh okay thanks. I was imagining that there were thousands of deaths we had no idea about

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THATscurryfungeBITCH Wed 15-Apr-20 09:36:31

Well have the people dying in care home actually been tested? If not they are not included?

ListeningQuietly Wed 15-Apr-20 09:37:36

dementedpixie Wed 15-Apr-20 09:38:44

The ONS figures are only showing deaths up to 3rd April at the moment. Next Tuesday they will be updated with new deaths for the week after (up to 10th april). Scotland updates theirs on a Wednesday

dementedpixie Wed 15-Apr-20 09:39:33

If the death certificate shows that coronavirus may have been a cause then its included on the stats

cathyandclare Wed 15-Apr-20 09:42:31

They can (and are) put COVID on the death certificate if it was suspected, even without a test. However, there will be cases missed, or COVID presumed when actually the person died of something else.

There were 6000 excess deaths registered in the week up to April 3rd. Only 3.5k of those had CV on the death certificate. The others were, presumably a mixture of unsuspected CV or people who have died of heart attacks or strokes etc because the NHS is snowed under with the pandemic.

cathyandclare Wed 15-Apr-20 09:45:57

Excuse grammatical failure blush

carriebreadshaw Wed 15-Apr-20 09:46:44

So it's not just UK with this issue. Okay, that's a bit clearer

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coconuttelegraph Wed 15-Apr-20 09:47:47

or people who have died of heart attacks or strokes etc because the NHS is snowed under with the pandemic

I've heard Doctors on the TV and radio saying that this just isn't the case, the non covid parts of hospital aren't snowed under and they are urging everyone who needs to to go to hospital as normal. I think it's important to get that message out to make sure there aren't any unnecessary deaths because of that.

coconuttelegraph Wed 15-Apr-20 09:49:38

@carriebreadshaw head over to the numbers and stats threads, there is absolutely loads of really good information and discussion by very knowledgeable posters, if you can't find an answer there there probably isnt one smile

cathyandclare Wed 15-Apr-20 09:50:08

@coconuttelegraph. Sorry, you're right, I agree. I should have said that people aren't seeking help because they're afraid of catching the virus in hospital or don't want to be a bother. Kids in particular are being kept away in there droves when they should get urgent care.

carriebreadshaw Wed 15-Apr-20 09:57:58

Ah right hadnt sen that thread, will take a look!

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Humphriescushion Wed 15-Apr-20 10:06:00

France starting adding them to thier figures about two weeks ago. Now they are added into the figures each day, so Frances figures are actually lower than the uk despite the experts saying the UK is tracking France.

FRance has around 10,000 deaths from hosptials so much lower than the UK. The care homes figures added about 4,000. 40 percent increase in hospital no.s and this has been the same for Ireland i think.

I understand the ons has the figures. But exact no.s are difficult to find and they should then be added onto the totals for hospitals and it is not clear if this is happening.

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