Penn Medicine doc says 1 in 10 COVID-19 patients 60 or older return to hospital within a week

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By KYW Newsradio 1060

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With so many people seeking treatment for COVID-19, it’s helpful for doctors to know who might be at higher risk of returning to the hospital. According to an emergency medicine physician at Penn Medicine, one in 10 COVID-19 patients returns to the hospital within a week of discharge.

The older the coronavirus patient, the more likely he or she will return to the hospital for more treatment, says Dr. Austin Kilaru.

“Patients that were older than 60 years old are three times more likely to come back than patients younger than 40. Age is a strong predictor that patients may get sick," Kilaru said.

"These are not just frail older adults. These might be patients older than 60 who are working and who are quite vigorous.”

He says patients with fevers, low oxygen levels, abnormal X-rays, or high blood pressure, or people who are obese are also likely to return within days for further treatment. He says the information is helpful for emergency department doctors deciding who should be admitted and who should be sent home and which patients at home need to be watched more closely.