Between March and May, six percent of all patients in the hospitals were clinicians, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed on Monday.
More than one in four of the hospital, clinic and care workers needed to be admitted to the ICU and more than four percent died during their hospital stay.
What’s more, nurses were the most likely to be hospitalized, making up more than one-third of all patients from the health care sector.
A new CDC report found health care workers made up 6% of more than 6,000 coronavirus patients hospitalized between March and May with about 4% dying. Pictured: Respiratory Care Practitioner Shelly Mattei encourages patient Edison Chiluisa during testing at the Post-COVID Recovery Program at Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, September 2020
Those working in nursing were the most likely group to be hospitalized, accounting for 36.3% of all patients, with patient aides and caregivers being the next most likely (above)
For the report, the team looked at data on 6,760 adults hospitalized between March 1 and May 31 across 13 states such as California, Colorado, Michigan and New York.
Health care personnel were defined as those working in health care settings, home health care services, or health care occupations within other setting such as schools.
Results showed that 438 of the hospitalized patients were front line providers, making up 5.9 percent of the group.
More than two thirds of the health care sector employees hospitalized with COVID-19 worked in fields in which they were expected to have direct patient contact.
People working in nursing-related fields were the most likely to be hospitalized, making up 36.3 percent of patients.
This included nurses (27.8 percent of patients) and certified nursing assistants, accounting for 8.5 percent.
‘This has implications for the capacity of the health care system, specifically nursing staff members, to respond to increases in COVID-19 cases in the community,’ the authors wrote.
Patient aides and caregivers made up for the next largest proportion of health care workers hospitalized with COVID-19 at 6.6 percent.
Similar to adults working in other fields, nearly 90 percent of hospitalized clinicians had at least one underlying condition.
Obesity was the most common condition and reported among 72.5 percent of patients followed by hypertension and chronic metabolic disease.
More than one in four patients were admitted to ICUs with 15.8 percent requiring mechanical ventilation, and 4.2 percent ultimately dying.
Most of the hospitalized healthcare workers were female – similar to the overall US workforce – and more than 50 percent were black, similar to previous reports on demographics.
‘Health care personnel can be exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes … COVID-19 both within and outside the workplace, increasing their risk for infection,’ the authors wrote.
‘[They] can have severe COVID-19–associated illness, highlighting the need for continued infection prevention and control in health care settings as well as community mitigation efforts to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission.’