While the H1N1 pandemic is reaching high levels of influenza activity in the Northern Hemisphere, the attention focuses on the ability of national health systems to respond to the expected massive influx of additional patients. Given the limited capacity of health care providers and hospitals and the limited supplies of antibiotics, it is important to predict the potential demand on critical care to assist planning for the management of resources and plan for additional stockpiling. We develop a disease model that considers the development of influenza-associated complications and incorporate it into a global epidemic model to assess the expected surge in critical care demands due to viral and bacterial pneumonia. Based on the most recent estimates of complication rates, we predict the expected peak number of intensive care unit beds and the stockpile of antibiotic courses needed for the current pandemic wave. The effects of dynamic vaccination campaigns, and of variations of the relative proportion of bacterial co-infection in complications and different length of staying in the intensive care unit are explored.
Balcan D, Colizza V, Singer AC, Chouaid C, Hu H, Gonçalves B, Bajardi P, Poletto C, Ramasco JJ, Perra N, Tizzoni M, Paolotti D, Van den Broeck W, Valleron A, Vespignani A. (2009). Modeling the critical care demand and antibiotics resources needed during the Fall 2009 wave of influenza A(H1N1) pandemic. PLoS currents, (1)