Ventilators are one of the most important tools hospitals have for keeping Covid-19 patients in the most critical condition alive.

Between 21% and 31% of Covid-19 patients in the U.S. have required hospitalization, and 5% to 11% have required intensive care. Officials have not reported how many of these patients developed respiratory distress so severe they needed to be put on a ventilator, but among one group of patients in China, 12% did. 

The number of Covid-19 cases is growing at such a rapid pace, it is possible that many hospitals will not have enough ventilators available for the patients that need them. If this happens, any patients who would otherwise survived their infections could die. 

advertisement

In the video above, we look at how ventilators work, and how they are used to treat patients with Covid-19.

  • what are hospital protocols directing respiratory teams to do to sterilize ventilator filters with?
    and how often?

  • Im not a dr but if you insert a tube to help breathe why not insert a tube to drain the fluid out of lungs. Explain

  • We hear much about ventilators but never about their futility. Virtually ALL who die in a hospital are intubated(?) and on a ventilator, so WHAT % of VENTILATOR PATIENTS DIE, REGARDLESS of all the media frenzy about not enough ventilators? Either no one wants to answer that, or it is not politically expedient. I have seen hundreds of patients on ventilators in my career, and the longer they are on them , the worse the prognosis. Does one week on mean 100% fatal? It is time we be realistic.

  • Hi,

    We are a Pharmecutical company and have a huge set up.
    We can fulfill ventilator needs ..In fact we can also supply advanced Sanitizer ventilators.
    Pls confirm quantity.

    Tks n Regds
    Isha
    Chrmpharm Industries

    • I noticed that too.
      Otherwise, it’s a nice, informative little video.
      Intubation, not incubation.
      Maybe it could be edited?

  • dont u hav to put a hole in the persons’ throat? thts how iv seen it. if somone would sho THIS to the public it could mayb snap the disbelivers into action

    • Depending on anatomical malformations, yes sometimes there is a hole or stoma created to insert an artificial airway. This occurs if the mouth and nose are not viable for advancement due to congenital defects, trauma or otherwise.
      Most cases involve the endotracheal tube (ETT) being advanced through the mouth. Though it is not as traumatic as cutting a whole in one’s throat, it is still terrifying for patients and in order to place and maintain the artificial airway they need to be paralyzed during intubation and then sedated and restrained to prevent them from dislodging it.
      Just because they don’t cut a new hole in your body doesn’t make it easier. Its straight up terrible regardless.

    • Patients who need to remain on a ventilator for an extended period of time will need a tracheotomy to prevent the tube from damaging their trachea. This is a simple procedure in the hospital/ICU setting and the hole closes up quickly when the patient recovers.

  • I relapsed Thursday after almost 5 days clear of the worst symptoms. It hit my lungs with a vengeance, accompanied by higher fever than before. We were close to calling an ambulance (we don’t own a car, and certainly can’t use car services), but we’re reluctant to sit in the ER for 5 hours, then lie in a hallway while others who truly needed attention, received it. Rightly so.

    My husband had recently upgraded his CPAP. As I had increasing difficulty in drawing air without a wheezing cough that emptied my lungs. We tried the CPAP. It was difficult getting started, past the cough, but concentrating on my breathing helped. It made a HUGE difference. Within an hour it was pushing enough air to fill my lungs and we could turn it to the lowest setting. It’s a bit drying, but every 6 hours I take a break and use steam to help. It’s going into day 3 and it’s helping enormously. Chest still hurts but breathing is more important, and I’m sleeping a couple of hours here and there.

    I’m so grateful to leave a bed/ ventilator to those who truly need it. I wish other people knew about this possibility. I’m not recommending for people not to seek professional care if they need it, but The CPAP made a huge difference for me and I hope some who have access can try it.

    • Jacqueline, thank you for this. Since all the information we receive is, at this point, pretty boilerplate (i.e., “wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay 6′ away from people, there is no treatment, etc. etc.”) and everything we’re told is nothing new, anecdotal information like what you’ve shared I think, can help lots of people. Yes, it might not work for everyone, and it might not be medically approved yet, nor recognized by the CDC as a treatment, but it worked for you. Maybe it will work for others. When there are no other options, and no more resources, something like this offers hope where there is none, so thank you!
      My questions to you are: Did you test positive for, and therefore thought you were recovering from COVID-19 last week? Do you have any idea why you experienced this relapse from recovery? To what do you or your doctors or anyone attribute your relapse? Isn’t this unusual, or are you learning of others who are having this problem too? Thanks so much and I hope you continue to get well!

    • I’m sorry you’re been so ill with COVID-19! My husband and I were curious if a cpap machine could help. Sounds like it has. Thanks for sharing. Hope you’re better soon!

  • As a 62 yr old using mach es already, how do ppl already using CPAP/BIPAP machines or Nebulizers fair with Covid-19 & can either machine be used as ventilators??
    Thank You,
    Robin

Comments are closed.

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy