COVID-19 has left a third of areas in America with limited ICU capacity

The growing rate of new COVID-19 cases indicates the US is facing a major crisis of hospital shortages not yet seen in this pandemic, and there is an expected near-doubling of hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions before year’s end, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Topias Lemetyinen, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “New hospitalizations and ICU admission have continued to rise, closely mirroring the trends seen in daily new cases. As daily new cases rise, hospitalizations also rise at 50% of daily new cases, and ICU admissions are around 20% of hospitalizations. Many states are starting to report serious shortages of hospital beds, specifically ICU beds.”

Some estimates indicate that nearly 100 million Americans are living in areas with less than 15% of ICU beds unoccupied. Several cities across states including New Mexico, Louisiana, Utah, and Pennsylvania are already exceeding ICU capacity.

Lemetyinen adds: “With nowhere to place patients, sacrifices will be made in delivery of care, which will further worsen this crisis. The impact of the continued spread of this illness should not be underappreciated despite vaccines coming to market, as the US is still a long way off from vaccinating enough people to halt this pandemic.”

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