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Canada: COVID-19 Hospitalization and Emergency Department Statistics

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From January to November 2020, there were more than 13,900 hospital stays in Canada (excluding Quebec) for patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19, according to data from Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) . During the same period, more than 85,400 ED visits for COVID-19 were reported by participating jurisdictions.

Key findings

  • The majority of patients (75%) who went to the ED were discharged home, while 20% were admitted to the hospital. The average length of stay in hospital was 15 days, and 90% of ED visits were completed within 14 hours. Patients from the least-affluent neighbourhoods accounted for the highest number and percentage of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ED visits.
  • More than half (57%) of patients admitted to the hospital were discharged home, while 19% died in facility. Patients who died in hospital were older than those who did not die (median age of 81 compared with 63). The in-hospital death rate was 18% for females and 20% for males. The in-hospital death rate was 19% among patients from the least-affluent neighbourhoods compared with 17% among patients from the most-affluent neighbourhoods.
  • Almost 1 in 4 (23%) hospital stays included an intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Among those patients with ICU stays, 60% received ventilation and 30% died in the facility.
  • Patients with at least one comorbidity had longer stays in hospital than those with no comorbidities (average length of 21 days compared with 11 days) and higher in-hospital death rates (28% compared with 13%). Presence of a comorbidity was also associated with increased ICU admission (28% compared with 19%) and ventilation (19% compared with 12%). Worse outcomes were observed for patients with comorbidities, regardless of age.
  • The estimated total cost of COVID-19 hospital stays in Canada (excluding Quebec) is more than $317 million, with an average estimated cost of almost $23,000 per hospital stay. Hospital stays with ICU admissions are significantly more costly than hospital stays without ICU admissions ($50,000 compared with $15,000).

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