New Delhi: Is testing negative after receiving COVID treatment not enough? A research has now claimed that roughly one in 10 patients diagnosed with the infection needed to return to the hospital within a week of discharge from an emergency department visit. They are know to be suffering from factors like lower pulse oximetry levels while some even had fever resulting in return trips that led to admission in any cases. Also Read - Coronavirus: Delirium Key Sign of COVID-19 in Frail, Older People Reveals Researchers

“We hope this study helps emergency clinicians have more informed conversations with patients suspected to have Covid-19,” said the lead author Austin Kilaru of the US study, published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine. “It can be difficult to make this diagnosis and send patients home without knowing if they will get sick in the coming days,” Kilaru added. Also Read - Congress Leader Ahmed Patel Tests COVID Positive, Asks Those Who Came in Contact to Get Tested

The study looked at 1,419 patients who went to an emergency department (ED) between March 1 and May 28, 2020, were discharged, and tested positive for Covid-19 in the seven days surrounding that visit. Data showed that 4.7 per cent of the patients returned to the hospital and were admitted within just three days for their initial ED visit, and an additional 3.9 per cent were hospitalized within a week. Also Read - 'Healthcare Services Made Available to Women, Children & Adolescents on Priority During COVID Times': Harsh Vardhan

In total, that meant that 8.6 per cent of patients were coming back to the hospital after their first ED visit due to Covid-19. “We were surprised with the overall rate that patients return and need admission, which is twice that of other illnesses,” Kilaru explained.

A population that the study showed was particularly vulnerable were patients over 60 years old.

Compared to patients in the 18 to 39 years of age range, those over 60 were more than five times as likely to require hospitalisation after being discharged from their initial emergency department visit.

Those in the 40 to 59 age range were found to be three times as likely to require hospitalisation than the younger group.

“If the patient had other factors such as an abnormal chest x-ray, the likelihood of needing to come back to be hospitalised goes up even more,” said the study’s senior author M. K.Delgado.

With the hope that their findings can better inform doctors on who is most appropriate for home recovery, the researchers called out remote monitoring as a useful tool for looking after Covid-19 patients.

(With agency inputs)