New York Modeled a Pandemic and Found a 15,000 Ventilator Shortfall

The study conducted in 2015 modeled the 1918 'Spanish flu'

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A study that modeled what a pandemic would look like in New York found that the state might face a significant shortfall in ventilators, with many of the deaths relating to the pandemic happening in hospital.

But the year was not 2020. It was 2015 and the virus was fictitious one modeled as part of a study into what would happen in New York under a pandemic conducted by the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law.

The pandemic viral strain modeled wouldn’t have a vaccine for at least six months and even then it would be in short supply, with antiviral medications either ineffective or in short supply. It found 70 percent of deaths related to the pandemic flu would occur in a  hospital.

Using a “severe scenario” modeling the 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’ the state determined there would be a ventilator shortfall of 15,783 during the peak of the pandemic .

The study based its model on a state capacity of 8,981 ventilators.

It models a death toll of over 34,000 during the peak week alone in New York using the 1918 model. Total deaths for the pandemic were modeled at more than 162,000 using the 1918 model.

In total, the model showed that there could be over 804,000 hospital admissions, almost 90,000 would need ventilators over the course of the pandemic and 18,619 would need ventilators at the peak time of the pandemic flu. This did not include patients who would need them for other reasons, hence the even larger shortfall.

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