The lockdown kills people

If we assume that operations for people with cancer extend their lifespans – a reasonable enough assumption – the the lockdown itself is culling lives, isn’t it?

One third of cancer surgeons have stopped operating, a survey has found, prompting doctors to call for more “Covid free” hubs.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd ), which represents 15,000 members UK-wide, conducted a survey of its fellows and found that one third of have completely halted procedures during the coronavirus outbreak.

15 thoughts on “The lockdown kills people”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    I’ve seen reports by an oncologist I follow that people needing initial diagnosis is down to 25% of the usual numbers. It’s not just the lockdown people are scared to go to hospital.

  2. @BiND, how much of that is down to the NHS staff themselves?

    My mother’s regular eye appointment on 7th April was cancelled as expected, but she had a call yesterday to say a private clinic would be arranged for her. The caller was very keen to stress that she shouldn’t feel pressured to go if she didn’t want to, they wouldn’t do the usual x-rays to see if she needed an injection, they’d just do that right way. There’d be minimal contact, etc.

    Faced with that, who wouldn’t feel apprehensive?

  3. Be funny if the real drop in corona cases is because less people are mixing in A & E Petri dishes…

  4. Yes, a friend of my daughter has had her lung transplant cancelled.

    And a friend of mine has had his bladder cancer treatment cancelled.

    Both in the UK BTW.

    Same here in Cyprus though, the hospitals are effectively closed apart from treating (the 692) active virus cases although there are plans to re-open out patient departments from next week.

  5. Lots of interesting natural experiments going on. For example, what has happened to all the people who would normally have gone to A&E?

  6. @Andrew M

    And GPs’ surgeries. My sis tells me they’re preternaturally quiet (despite having the tech to do remote consultations etc.)

  7. It wouldn’t neccessarily be the lockdown, but the simple fact that this CoVid outbreak makes quite a few treatments extremely risky to perform.
    Not so much the operations in and of itself, but the risk of “complications” has increased massively. Especially when you realise that removing a cancer is only a minor part of the treatment. Chemo/radiation is the major part. And that one tends to quite royally bugger up your immune system. Which is….not exactly a good idea… to do in the midst of a viral outbreak that specifically “targets” those with diminished immune response..

    Same with transplants… You need to knock out or severely diminish a patient’s immune response to make the graft successful…
    Again.. a really good idea in the midst of…..

    So even if a Let It Rage policy, with the resultant overload of the hospital system and all the other nasty choices that would bring, was applied, the people having their scheduled treatment postponed now would have been postponed anyway. No Capacity, not acutely life-threatening.
    Very harsh, but when you’re dealing with a hospital overload like that, you simply don’t waste resources on the Walking Dead.. They wouldn’t make it through triage…

    So if anything. the lockdown allows at least a part of the scheduled surgeries to take place. Still a death toll, but demonstrably less than the other option.

  8. The problem is that if the tumour is small now it might be a damn sight bigger in a few months, which might require a different procedure. For example, a lumpectomy is much less complicated than a mastectomy.

  9. Some London A&E reported for the weekend at the beginning of April they had 140 cardiac ambulance calls per day and they expect 55 on average, they also commented most of them died.
    So yes the lockdown is killing people

  10. Grikath is right of course, but if I were waiting for a liver or a heart rather than a kidney, I think I’d take my chances with the Xi Jinping Flu.

    The current supply shock (for organs) is going to be followed by a demand shock, as we still have to list people for transplants. Maybe there will be new impetus to actually get people signed up or change the current system for an opt-out.

  11. @BiG
    Yeah… But would the surgeon and the rest of the medical staff involved? They have a couple of other things to consider than just a patient’s “go ahead”… Which seem to include US-style ambulance-chasers “advising” the Unfairly Bereaved Family nowadays…

  12. Michael van der Riet

    Hi there, we found you a new ticker, came off a twenty-five-year-old athletic champ who died of the rona. Breathe deeply and count to ten…

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