Hospital surge capacity during epidemics
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What is this? A major challenge for those responding to COVID-19 is the increase in demand for hospital care. This summary is of a systematic review of hospital surge capacity for epidemics of dengue, which may provide insights for the surge with COVID-19. The authors for this systematic review searched for articles published from 2000 to 2018 on managing surge at hospital level during dengue epidemics. They restricted their search to English, French and Portuguese (because of their familiarity with these languages) and did their searches in December 2018. They identified 18 eligible studies and drew the following conclusions from them. What works: Context specific planning of service expansion and reverse triage strategies should help hospitals cope with patient surge during epidemics of infectious disease. The need for increasing capacity and capability were two intrinsic strategic approaches for coping with surge in most response plans. This might include training, redistribution of existing staff with extended work shifts within institutions and recruitment of staff from other institutions, the private sector or civil society.