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27 Sep, Tuesday
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Why do you need a Ventilator for COVID-19?

The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) estimates that 950,000 coronavirus patients in the united states could require ventilators. Nevertheless, the nations’ hospitals just have 160,000 of these machines involving them, per the SCCM. So what exactly is a ventilator, why are they so desperately needed at the moment? Let Tropika Club dive deeper into why do you need a ventilator if you are stricken with COVID-19.

What is a ventilator?

A ventilator (also known as a mechanical ventilator, respirator, or breathing system ) is a life support treatment that helps people breathe when they can not breathe on their own, says that the American Thoracic Society. This system will get oxygen into the lungs, and the body also helps to eliminate carbon dioxide through the lungs. A ventilator is connected to the individual through a tube put in their mouth or nose and inserted into the windpipe (a process called intubation). The ventilator subsequently melts gas (consisting of atmosphere, also oxygen if needed ) into the patient’s lungs.

Why do you need a Ventilator for COVID-19?

In line with the American Thoracic Society, a ventilator can help a patient by doing all or a number of their breathing, and it is superior to a mask and other devices since it can deliver high levels of oxygen. It can also offer positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP), which will help maintain the lungs open, so the air sacs don’t collapse. If the patient has a weak cough, the tube in the windpipe also makes it a lot easier to eliminate mucus.

Read: 7 Tips to Deal with Social Distancing

How does a Ventilator help a person breathe?

Invasive ventilators gently force normal air (or a mixture of air and added oxygen) through a breathing tube, into a patient’s airways and down into their lungs. Mechanical ventilation not only ensures that a patient receives sufficient oxygen but also helps move carbon dioxide, a waste gas, out of the lungs. A person who cannot breathe efficiently on their own may retain carbon dioxide in the body, which can accumulate and reach toxic levels. It’s important to understand that ventilators are only used as life support; they do not treat or cure any medical conditions.

Why do you need a Ventilator for COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said earlier this month which one of the seriously ill patients admitted to intensive care units in China (the initial epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak), 47-71% of patients received mechanical ventilation. There’s no doubt that as the epicentre shifts to America, ventilators will be critical to a lot of patients’ survival.
“In some patients using COVID-19, the virus infection causes pneumonia and acute inflammation which cripples the lung’s role,” Harvard-trained internal medicine William Li, MD, informs Health. “In these patients, obtaining a ventilator available to support that the patient can make the difference between life and certain death.”

“Even if the lung is neglecting, a ventilator can provide enough support and buy plenty of time for the medical team to help the patient overcome the infection, until the point at which their own lungs are able to regain function,” says Dr. Li.

In general, hospitals just have a limited supply of ventilators in any given time. “When there are huge numbers of patients flooding into ICU and they all take a ventilator, many medical facilities will not have enough to satisfy the overwhelming demand,” says Dr. Li. “This really is a true crisis that cannot be solved with no more ventilators available.

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Terence is Tropika Club Magazine's deputy editor who loves learning about animals and their behavior. He is also an anthropologist, so he is very interested in how different cultures interact with animals. He has worked in the publishing industry for over 10 years, and have been lucky enough to work with some amazing authors and editors.