More than 10,000 patients caught Covid-19 in a hospital, analysis shows. Some never made it out

Cindy Johnson holds a painting of her husband, Steven, a retired pharmacist who had survived colon cancer and took meticulous measures to avoid contracting covid-19. Steven died of covid in December 2020, and Cindy believes he contracted the virus at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Florida, where he was admitted for an infection in his hip. (Eve Edelheit for KHN)

(KHN)They went into hospitals with heart attacks, kidney failure or in a psychiatric crisis.

They left with covid-19 — if they left at all.
More than 10,000 patients were diagnosed with covid in a U.S. hospital last year after they were admitted for something else, according to federal and state records analyzed exclusively for KHN. The number is certainly an undercount, since it includes mostly patients 65 and older, plus California and Florida patients of all ages.
    Yet in the scheme of things that can go wrong in a hospital, it is catastrophic: About 21% of the patients who contracted covid in the hospital from April to September last year died, the data shows. In contrast, nearly 8% of other Medicare patients died in the hospital at the time.