The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s updated coronavirus hospital-use data shows a decreased need for hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators than previously estimated.
In an update report published April 5, the IHME estimated that while the peak date for hospital resource use is still expected to be April 15, remaining unchanged since the organization’s April 2nd data release, the predicted number of total hospital and ICU beds as well as ventilators decreased.
The April 5 prediction for beds needed on the peak date was 140,823, a decrease of 121,269 beds. The prediction from the April 2 release was 262,092.
The number of ICU beds expected to be needed was at 29,210, an estimate over 10,000 beds lower than the April 2 release predicted. Similarly, invasive ventilators expected to be needed at the peak decreased by almost 13,000.
The changes occurred because IHME was “able to include more up-to-date data for estimating ratios of hospital admission to deaths,” the April 5 report reads. Previous releases were informed by a CDC report with information on early coronavirus-related deaths, when the ratio was 11.1 hospital admissions per coronavirus death.
The new data reflects larger samples and estimations of state-specific ratios. The analysis also includes information and data sources like local governments, national governments, the World Health Organization, state-enforced social-distancing policies, according to Yahoo.
Dr. Christopher Murray, director of IHME, told Yahoo Finance that the trajectory of the pandemic could change for the worse if social distancing measures are not followed. (RELATED: Cuomo: ‘We Don’t Need Any Additional Ventilators’)
“As we noted previously, the trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions. Our projections are strengthened by the new downturns in more regions. This is evidence that social distancing is crucial. Our forecasts assume that social distancing remains in place until the end of May.”
The estimates assume that social-distancing measures are continuing in states where they’ve been enacted, while the estimates for states without social-distancing measures yet assume that they will have them within seven days.