Hospitals seeing a significant number of incidental Covid-19 patients – KWCH

February 7, 2022

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Hospitals across the country are seeing a significant number of incidental Covid-19 patients.
Compared to previous covid-19 strains, the Omicron variant sometimes looks different in Wichita hospitals. That’s because some patients who have it aren’t going to the hospital covid symptoms. Incidental cases are when patients go into the hospital for something other than covid and then test positive for it once they’re there.
Doctor Sam Antonios at Ascension Via Christi Saint Francis says it’s hard to tell how many of these cases are genuinely incidental for a couple of reasons. One reason is they don’t test every patient for covid-19.
Dr. Sam Antonios says, “when we do test, it’s because of some suspicion and some symptom generally. There are a few exceptions to that, obviously in certain circumstances. So, we can’t quantify the impact or number. I would say for a majority, that would not be the case.”
Another reason is that even though the patient may not have come into the hospital because of covid symptoms, their issues are sometimes related to the infection.
“It’s not an easy separation. When someone comes in with, let’s say, diabetes being out of control, and they develop ketoacidosis, you do discover they have covid-19. That could very well be the virus that tipped them over,” said Dr. Antionios.
Antonios says many health issues people come into the hospital with are still within the realm of the virus and even some that aren’t respiratory problems.
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