Rising ICU bed use 'a big red flag'

Rising ICU bed use 'a big red flag'

Leavitt Partners’ Torch Insight Covid-19 Burden Index tool projects hospital and ICU bed capacity across states, metro areas, counties and individual hospitals, based off the assumption that people continue behaving the same way. The tool can inform public officials and health care leaders that, “If things don’t change, this is what I need to be ready for at the extreme in three weeks,” said David Muhlestein, chief strategy and chief research officer of Leavitt Partners, the group behind the burden index tool. “The concern is that somebody will say, ‘Oh, we think it’s going to go down so we’re not going to prepare for the worst-case scenario,’ and then the worst-case scenario happens,” Muhlestein said in an interview. The projections are an additional warning sign as local leaders nationwide seek to avoid what occurred in Montgomery, where the Democratic mayor is still sounding the alarm after gaining national attention last week for warning that “you’re in trouble” if you need an ICU bed in the city. Mayor Steven Reed told NPR this week that hospital leaders are telling him to “sound the alarm and to let people know we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and that we are in a health crisis.” Minnesota saw its largest single-day spike in Covid-19-related ICU bed use earlier this week, jumping from 207 people hospitalized in the ICU on Sunday to 248 by Monday. There were 260 ICU hospitalizations on Wednesday, the highest since the pandemic began. And more than 90 percent ...
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