Recommendations for medical surge capacity and deployment of emergency medical teams. Preliminary Document, Version 2 (31 March 2020)
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The purpose of this document is to issue recommendations to facilitate the medical surge capacity and the deployment of emergency medical teams in order to guarantee the response to high numbers of patients that could overwhelm the capacity of the integrated health services network in communities or areas where COVID-19 is circulating. Based on the data from a large cohort of COVID-19 patients, 40% of patients will have a mild case of the disease and mainly require symptomatic treatment but not hospitalization; around 40% will have a moderate case that could require hospitalization; 15% will be in severe condition and require oxygen therapy among other hospital interventions; and around 5% will be in critical condition and require mechanical ventilation. Monitoring of the outbreak’s trajectory in some countries has also shown that cases are doubling every 3 days, with a higher proportion of severe and critical cases, creating an urgent need to augment the capacity to expand health systems to prevent the exhaustion and burnout of health workers and the rapid drawdown of biomedical supplies key to the response.
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