New findings may help guide policy makers in deploying ventilators to states with an urgent need of the technology amid the current COVID-19 pandemic as well as for future pandemic preparedness.

A new study highlighted an increase in adult and pediatric mechanical ventilators reported by acute care hospitals in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with 2019.

“Despite the unprecedented demand for mechanical ventilators in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, the last survey of U.S. hospitals occurred in 2010 and estimated approximately 62,000 full-featured ventilators. … Therefore, we performed an updated assessment of current ventilators in use at U.S. hospitals to aid with current and future pandemic preparedness and to determine whether any change was correlated with COVID-19 burden.” Thomas C. Tsai, MD, MPH, of the department of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the department of health policy and management at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues wrote in JAMA Network Open.

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