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The Oxford University Global Surgery Group recently led the study: ‘Infection and mortality of healthcare workers worldwide from COVID-19: a systematic review’.

Cumulative number of reported COVID-19 deaths in healthcare workers worldwide and total number of reported cases of COVID-19 deaths in healthcare workers worldwide.
Cumulative number of reported COVID-19 deaths in healthcare workers worldwide and total number of reported cases of COVID-19 deaths in healthcare workers worldwide.

This was a coordinated effort by our global colleagues spread across the world, and was the first comprehensive investigation into the burden of COVID-19 infection and death rates in healthcare professionals worldwide. 63 collaborators across 19 countries contributed towards this study during the 1st wave of COVID-19. Many of the researchers are also frontline workers who despite their clinical commitments during these challenging times made time for this study.

Findings included over 150,000 healthcare worker infections and 1,413 deaths at the time of writing, though these numbers will be considerably higher now. A total of 152 888 infections and 1413 deaths were reported. Infections were mainly in women (71.6%, n=14 058) and nurses (38.6%, n=10 706), but deaths were mainly in men (70.8%, n=550) and doctors (51.4%, n=525). Limited data suggested that general practitioners and mental health nurses were the highest risk specialities for deaths. There were 37.2 deaths reported per 100 infections for HCWs aged over 70 years. Europe had the highest absolute numbers of reported infections (119 628) and deaths (712), but the Eastern Mediterranean region had the highest number of reported deaths per 100 infections (5.7).

We hope our study, recently published in BMJ Global Health, will help to guide policy-making decisions and protect our colleagues working on the frontline around the world.  We hope to repeat and update this study, please contact us if you would like to be involved.

Read ‘Infection and mortality of healthcare workers worldwide from COVID-19: a systematic review’.

Theme Leads