Stockpiling ventilators for influenza pandemics

Hsin Chan Huang, Ozgur Araz, David P. Morton, Gregory P. Johnson, Paul Damien, Bruce Clements, Lauren Ancel Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


In preparing for influenza pandemics, public health agencies stockpile critical medical resources. Determining appropriate quantities and locations for such resources can be challenging, given the considerable uncertainty in the timing and severity of future pandemics. We introduce a method for optimizing stockpiles of mechanical ventilators, which are critical for treating hospitalized influenza patients in respiratory failure. As a case study, we consider the US state of Texas during mild, moderate, and severe pandemics. Optimal allocations prioritize local over central storage, even though the latter can be deployed adaptively, on the basis of real-time needs. This prioritization stems from high geographic correlations and the slightly lower treatment success assumed for centrally stockpiled ventilators. We developed our model and analysis in collaboration with academic researchers and a state public health agency and incorporated it into a Web-based decision-support tool for pandemic preparedness and response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-921
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Huang, H. C., Araz, O., Morton, D. P., Johnson, G. P., Damien, P., Clements, B., & Meyers, L. A. (2017). Stockpiling ventilators for influenza pandemics. Emerging infectious diseases, 23(6), 914-921.