For patients requiring intensive care as a result of complications with COVID-19, access to a ventilator may play a vital role in determining their fate.
Using data pulled from Definitive Healthcare, the chart below shows the current status of the "ventilator gap" (the difference in the estimated amount of available ventilators in each state and the number of severe cases that have been reported).
The graph depicts the risk that if some or all severe cases do in fact need to be admitted to intensive care, there may be a severe shortage of ventilators.
According to the data, NJ, CT and RI are states in which an inflow of patients into intensive care would be most disastrous. NJ is already short 538 ventilators as of April 23.
So what can be done to improve the situation?
People living in these states must continue to take precautions and plan ahead if they have pre-existing respiratory conditions, and get tested on time to avoid complications.
Also, per the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), states and counties need to cooperate to meet demand during a surge.