Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Surgeons

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The Impact of Regional Hospital Bed Density on COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate in the United States
Sina Foroutanjazi1, Joshua Bloom, MD2, Abhishek Chaterjee, MD2
1Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 2Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

Background: The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is a rapidly growing pandemic affecting a majority of the countries around the world, with the United States having the greatest number of confirmed cases as of March 29th, 2020. It is predicted that with the current rate of growth of COVID-19, the US healthcare system may not be able to keep up with the resources required to care for these patients.
Methods: A literature review was performed to obtain hospital bed density and case fatality rate per state at the time intervals during the first 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. A linear regression analysis was performed on the case fatality of COVID-19 and hospital bed density in the 6 US regions.
Results: There is no association between US regional case fatality rate and hospital bed density at month 2 (-0.183 [95% CI -0.633 to 0.267, p=0.32] with R2 = 0.242) and month 3 (-0.38 [95% CI -1.41 to 0.64, p=0.36] with R2 = 0.21) ) of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Conclusion: Although there appears to be a weak negative association between case fatality and hospital bed density in each state, this association is statistically insignificant, suggesting that the current US COVID-19 case fatality rate is independent of the number of available inpatient hospital beds. However, we predict that with the rapidly increasing number of US cases, regions with higher hospital bed density will be better equipped to mitigate the fatality rate of this pandemic.


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