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Lack of ICU beds amplified COVID -19 death rate

Researchers at Yale found a strong link between the availability of hospital resources (particularly ICU beds) and patient mortality during the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, this was especially true at hospitals in the northeastern US which were hardest hit by the first surge of patient cases.

“There is a general narrative among people in healthcare that the more resources there are, the better we can take care of patients,” said lead author Dr. Alexander Janke, a Yale Emergency Scholar in the fourth year of a five-year combined residency and health services research fellowship.

For the study, the researchers collected data of Covid-19 patients admitted at 4,453 hospitals overall from March 1 to July 26, in the United States.

The researchers found that geographic regions with fewer resources per Covid-19 patient were statistically associated with more deaths in April 2020.

But the strongest association was related to ICU bed availability. According to the findings, for every additional ICU bed per Covid-19 case, there was an associated one-fifth decrease in the incidence rate of death during the month.

The estimates presented by the authors of the study revealed that 15,571 Covid-19 patients died at these hospitals due to a lack of ICU beds during the month of April. – The Hindu BusinessLine

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