The National Institutes of Health today released a study suggesting one in every four COVID-19 deaths in U.S. hospitals may have been attributed to the dire strain that surges in caseloads placed on hospitals during the pandemic.

The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, analyzed data from 150,000 COVID-19 inpatient visits from 558 hospitals between March and August 2020. The findings have implications for hospital preparedness, how health care facilities can allocate resources, and how public health authorities can assess and react to local data.

The data also underscore the critical need for more funding to help hospitals and health systems increase resources and staff to manage caseload surging during public health emergencies.

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