The Covid-19 disease caused by the corona virus caused a surge in the demand for ventilators.
An artificial ventilator, also called a ventilator, is a device used in surgery to keep the lungs functioning when the patient is under general anesthesia. Breathing apparatus is also needed for patients with shortness of breath due to serious respiratory infection.
The Covid-19 epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus caused a sudden increase in the demand for ventilators. Here’s what you should know about how ventilators work and who needs to use them in the intensive care unit (ICU).
How does a ventilator work?
A breathing machine can deliver oxygen to the lungs and help reduce the level of CO2 in the body. This device is often used by inserting an air tube into the patient’s mouth or nose and then down the trachea. This allows the ventilator to air in and out of the lungs.
“The ventilator can deliver oxygen by pumping air into the lungs like a balloon,” said Parshawn Lahiji, an emergency department physician at Providence Saint John’s Medical Center.
“By adjusting the settings, we can synchronize the airflow from the ventilator to the rate at which the patient is breathing normally, helping them breathe better by increasing the pressure, air flow or air flow from the ventilator,” he said. Dr. Benjamin Singer works at the emergency room of Northwestern University Medical School.
A ventilator is used to replace lung function when it is inactive for a short time. That is why they are often used in surgeries to keep the lungs active when the patient is under general anesthesia.
They are also used in cases of people suffering from diseases such as pneumonia, which impair lung function.
“In such situations, if traditional medical therapies are not helpful, we can put a breathing tube into the throat and let the breathing machine take care of the breathing during that time,” Lahiji said.
The time a patient has to breathe on a machine depends on their severity. Typically, this time can range from a few hours to several weeks. In particular, for patients with respiratory failure, the ventilator may have been associated with them for many years.
Why is ventilator important for patients with Covid-19 infection?
The Covid-19 epidemic can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome, leading to lung damage and making it hard for you to breathe.
“ICU is where the breathing machine really works,” Lahiji added. In fact, ventilators can be an effective way to save patients who cannot breathe normally.
In a large-scale study published in February of the disease characteristics in Wuhan, researchers found that 5% of 1,099 patients were positive for the virus. ICU care. Among those receiving intensive care, nearly half, or 2.3% of all patients, needed ventilator access.
“With so many people infected, and we know that part of it is going to go badly and need help from a ventilator, we run the risk of missing this device, a medical resource.” very important, “commented Dr. Benjamin Singer.
In the US, concerns about overcrowding of ventilators and patient beds at the ICU are hindering efforts to contain the Covid-19 epidemic. The report published by the New York City health agency estimates that with the current number of patients, New York may own only 15% of the required number of ventilators.
This figure does not seem enough when the number of people infected with the coronavirus in New York is increasing.
New York health officials even considered using a ventilator for two patients. However, this is considered a relatively risky measure, requiring both patients to have similar lung capacity and size.