Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/15001
Critical Care Requirements Under Uncontrolled Transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Am J Public Health. 2021 May;111(5):923-926.
Objectives. To estimate the critical care bed capacity that would be required to admit all critical COVID-19 cases in a setting of unchecked SARS-CoV-2 transmission, both with and without elderly-specific protection measures. Methods. Using electronic health records of all 2432 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in a large hospital in Madrid, Spain, between February 28 and April 23, 2020, we estimated the number of critical care beds needed to admit all critical care patients. To mimic a hypothetical intervention that halves SARS-CoV-2 infections among the elderly, we randomly excluded 50% of patients aged 65 years and older. Results. Critical care requirements peaked at 49 beds per 100 000 on April 1-2 weeks after the start of a national lockdown. After randomly excluding 50% of elderly patients, the estimated peak was 39 beds per 100 000. Conclusions. Under unchecked SARS-CoV-2 transmission, peak critical care requirements in Madrid were at least fivefold higher than prepandemic capacity. Under a hypothetical intervention that halves infections among the elderly, critical care peak requirements would have exceeded the prepandemic capacity of most high-income countries. Public Health Implications. Pandemic control strategies that rely exclusively on protecting the elderly are likely to overwhelm health care systems.
COVID-19 | Communicable Disease Control | Critical Care | Hospitalization | Adult | Aged | Electronic Health Records | Female | Hospital Bed Capacity | Humans | Male | Middle Aged | Models, Statistical | Spain | Young Adult
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