CLEVELAND — The projections may scare you, but they are not unexpected.
Doctors say Ohio will be ready when the toughest days come for COVID-19.
On Thursday Dr. John Langell, president of Northeast Ohio Medical University, and Dr. William Brien, Chief Medical Officer at University Hospitals, weighed in.
“One has to remember even as the surge occurs, somewhere on the order of 85% of the patients will have mild enough disease to never require hospitalization,” Dr. Brien said.
“If we follow the shelter in place rules, we are not going to overwhelm the hospital systems, we’ll be able to take care of the patients that require hospital and ICU settings,” said Dr. Langell.
Langell says Ohio has about 34,000 hospital beds and 2500 ICU beds and that hospitals should be able to move beds around to make room for sicker patients.
His bigger concern is that 17% of infections in Ohio now involve health care workers.
Should that percentage arise out of 8,000 new cases in a day, for example, he believes there could be problems, depending on the patients’ symptoms.
“It’s really unclear where we say 8,000,” he said. “Is that 8,000 who are as sick as those who are currently being detected?”
Earlier in the day Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio's Director of Health, revealed that the state's peak is currently slated to reach as many as 6,000-8,000 new cases per day in Ohio in late April.
At the same time, new technology offers promise.
A company out of South Carolina recently gained federal approval on a new device allowing a single ventilator to treat up to four people at a time.
Dr. Brian believes technology we may not even know about yet could still make a difference come April.
“We’re an incredibly resilient group of incredibly intelligent people who will be able to manage new technology in a relatively short period of time,” he said.