H1N1 could fill hospital beds, but Wisconsin still OK - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

H1N1 could fill hospital beds, but Wisconsin still OK


WASHINGTON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin hospitals may be in better shape than hospitals in other states during a swine flu outbreak, according to a new reporter released today.

A report from the nonprofit Trust for America's Health estimates that if a third of the people wind up catching swine flu, 15 states could run out of hospital beds at around the time the outbreak hits its peak.  Wisconsin was not on the list.

Even though just a fraction of people with swine flu would be sick enough to be hospitalized, it could still tax the resources of America's hospitals. In the spring, when the H1N1 flu first appeared, the report says more than 44,000 people visited emergency rooms in New York City.

To deal with overcrowding from emergencies, hospitals are supposed to have "surge" plans -- determining, for example, when they would postpone elective surgeries to free up beds.  

The report says the states in which hospitals would fill up are Delaware, Connecticut, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.



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