Demand for hospital beds in US will peak by mid-April, analysis finds

The demand for hospital beds in the U.S. is projected to far exceed capacity by the second week of April, according to a new analysis from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle.

The study presents estimates of predicted health service utilization and deaths due to COVID-19 for each state in the U.S. if social distancing measures are maintained. Researchers used state-level hospital capacity data, data on confirmed COVID-19 deaths from the World Health Organization, and observed COVID-19 utilization from select locations.

Here are five takeaways from the study:

1. Excess demand for hospital beds and intensive care unit beds will peak in the U.S. in the second week of April.

2. Using a statistical model, the researchers predict excess demand will be 64,175 total hospital beds and 17,309 ICU beds at the peak of COVID-19.

3. There will be an estimated 81,114 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 over the next four months, and there will be more than 2,300 deaths daily by the second week of April. 

4. While peak demand will occur at the national level in the second week of April, this varies by state. About a third of states, including New York, will hit peak capacity in the first half of April.

5. "Demand for health services rapidly increases in the last week of March and first 2 weeks of April and then slowly declines through the rest of April and May, with demand continuing well into June," according to the study.

More articles on patient flow:
Philadelphia hospital won't reopen to treat COVID-19 patients
US cities race to reopen shuttered hospitals as COVID-19 spreads
Will COVID-19 overwhelm hospitals near you? 16 things to know

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