Fourth wave: young people, unvaccinated, pregnant women … What is the profile of hospitalized patients?

Fourth wave: young people, unvaccinated, pregnant women … What is the profile of hospitalized patients?
Fourth wave: young people, unvaccinated, pregnant women … What is the profile of hospitalized patients?

OBSERVATION – While the number of hospitalizations continues to rise, which began a few days ago, with 7,208 patients on Wednesday, hospital pressure is marked by a fairly clear trend. It concerns the average age and vaccination status of patients.

ALG – 2021-07-29T14:57:02.689+02:00

Nearly 1,000 patients ill with a severe form of Covid-19 were treated Wednesday in critical care services, while the number of hospitalizations reached 7,208 patients on Wednesday, according to the latest health data which also attest to an outbreak of contaminations .

The increase, which began only a few days ago, is more pronounced when looking at data for a full week. In 7 days, there were 2,511 hospitalizations, including 511 critical care admissions, against respectively 1,554 hospitalizations and 298 intensive care admissions during the previous week.

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This progression is as clear as the trend which characterizes the hospital pressure of this fourth wave: for the first time, the average age of hospitalized patients has fallen below the 60-year mark.


The hospitalization curve speaks for itself, with a particularly marked increase among 40-59 year olds. Also, from Paris to Strasbourg, via Marseille, specialists testify to the arrival in hospital with heart failure of patients aged 30, 40 or 50 who felt sufficiently safe. “The average age of hospitalized patients for men is 54 years and intensive care patients are also younger, between 40 and 60 years, with extremes at 21 years”, testifies in particular for LCI Professor Marc Léone, head of the anesthesia-intensive care unit at the North hospital in Marseille.

Same observation at the Strasbourg University Hospital where hospitalized patients present, compared to previous waves, a lower average age. “This is consistent with the figures for the epidemic, the 20-30 age group is the one with the highest incidence rate “, underlines Professor Nicolas Lefebvre, head of the infectious disease department. “To cite two examples, in recent days we have hospitalized two people, aged 30 and 40”.

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“It’s shocking to see people close to our age go down to intensive care, it was almost never happened”, adds Florie-Anne Hofmans, 23, infectious disease nurse. “The general public imagines that once out of intensive care, the patient is saved, but it’s a lot of rehabilitation. We have patients who come back, people who were completely independent and who can no longer wash themselves alone, or even hold their phone. “

Not vaccinated

By way of comparison, patients under 40, who represented 3.5% of patients hospitalized last March, now weigh 6.5% with one thing in common: they are not vaccinated. “The Covid returns to the hospital with forms that we had not seen for several weeks”, testified on this subject Sunday on LCI Eric Revue, head of the emergency department at Lariboisière hospital in Paris, specifying that “most of the patients who come were not vaccinated” and are younger than in previous waves. “Most tell us: I was still waiting, I wanted to have a little more perspective”, specifies this Thursday on LCI Edouard Obadia, resuscitator at the hospital of Quincy-sous-Sénart. And to continue: “We must not wait, we know that when we are not vaccinated we can develop serious forms”.

It is moreover this vaccination status which explains above all the rejuvenation of the patients, because the older the French are, the more they are protected. As a reminder, over the age of 60, more than 75% have received their two doses, against less than 50% in this case among those under 40.

Pregnant women

“We have never yet seen, or extremely rarely, patients who return to intensive care with a severe form of the disease after having had their complete vaccination schedule. These, we do not see them in intensive care,” summarizes Edouard Obadia. “When they are sick, because we can do it again, it is benign”, he adds. Note that overweight and high blood pressure are also risk factors found in these unvaccinated patients who are currently hospitalized.

But in addition to the rejuvenation of patients, a final category of patients seems to stand out more than in previous waves: pregnant women. At the Toulouse University Hospital, this is the case for two Covid-19 patients out of seven currently in intensive care. “It’s really on a small sample, but we have the impression that we are seeing more of it”, explained Tuesday Béatrice Riu, head of the multipurpose intensive care unit at the Purpan Hospital in Toulouse, on Franceinfo. The latter recalled the recommendation, which is now to be vaccinated from the first trimester of pregnancy, while she was in the second trimester previously, as Olivier Véran indicated this week. This recommendation has changed because no risk has been observed to date in pregnant women who have received the injections.

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