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Mar. 25, 2021:  66,000 Patient Lives Saved: Report Looks Back at New Jersey’s Pandemic Year

In a year of pandemic marked by loss, a new report shows the life-saving outcomes of New Jersey hospitals: More than 66,000 lives saved among patients with severe COVID disease who were discharged successfully, including 7,000 projected deaths averted as hospitals improved treatment and outcomes to bend the COVID mortality curve.

Those findings and other data highlights from the past year are presented in a special report from the New Jersey Hospital Association, Loss, Lessons, Lives Saved: New Jersey’s Pandemic Year. The report recounts the early weeks of the pandemic when New Jersey was one of the first states to see surging levels of COVID, hospital efforts that allowed the state to narrowly escape running out of ICU beds and the innovations by clinical teams that led to improvements in treatment that saved lives.

“New Jersey has endured a year of loss, fear, stress and isolation – but there also is light in this dark year,” said NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett. “New Jersey hospitals and their care teams faced a never-before-seen virus with courage, skill and an unyielding drive to save lives. Tens of thousands of our fellow New Jerseyans are still here today, thanks to their efforts.”

Key developments covered in the report include:

  • 86 percent of patients hospitalized with severe coronavirus illness were successfully treated and discharged, totaling more than 66,000 individuals.
  • N.J. hospitals increased the percent of patients discharged alive from 73.7 percent in April 2020 to 88.6 percent in February 2021. That increase in the survival rate projects out to 7,000 deaths averted.
  • New Jersey’s peak date for COVID hospitalizations was April 14, when 8,270 patients were in hospital beds. On that date, New Jersey hospitals would have been short 251 ICU beds if hospitals had not converted spaces into surge capacity.
  • The innovation and leadership shown by New Jersey clinicians helped reduce the need for invasive ventilation (a 49.1 percent reduction from April 2020 to mid-March 2021) and ICU admissions (an 83.3 percent reduction from April 2020 to mid-March 2021.)

The full report, with additional insights from healthcare heroes on the frontlines, can be found at http://www.njha.com/chart/special/pandemic/