Ventilators do not cure COVID-19 but are essential in the treatment. Many patients suffering from COVID-19 find it difficult to breathe and ventilators help reduce breathing difficulties.
With the impact that COVID-19 has had on people around the world, it is no secret that many health resources of the economy are getting drained. Scientists around the world are attempting to build vaccines to fight this dangerous disease.
Although the only solution as of now is social distancing, ventilators are crucial for people already suffering from the virus.
- How does a Ventilator Help?
- Why are Ventilators Crucial for Patients with COVID-19?
- Availability of Ventilators is Scarce in the World.
Function of a Ventilator
The crucial function of a ventilator is to get more oxygen in the lungs and take carbon dioxide out. Ventilators are primarily used for patients who find it difficult to breathe effectively on their own.
Ventilators are Crucial for Patients with COVID-19
Since COVID-19 makes breathing all the more difficult, ventilators are essential for such patients. Breathing is more difficult because a patient’s lungs are inflamed and filled with fluid. In such a scenario, ventilators are essential to allow normal breathing to continue.
However, one must note that ventilators will not cure COVID-19. They will just make it easier to cope with the infection. David Hill, a pulmonologist who sites on the board of the American Lung Association said, that ventilators are just “one piece of that puzzle.”
Hill highlighted that isolating patients is the only way to reduce the spread of the virus.
Demand for Ventilators Continues to Increase But Not Matched by Supply
With news of ventilators assisting in the cure of coronavirus becoming more and more widespread, several countries are demanding more ventilators. Since the demand for ventilators is suddenly unusually high, several countries have a scarcity of ventilators.
Moreover, several companies who usually manufacture automobiles or other technical equipment are now manufacturing ventilators to assist the world in overcoming this deadly virus.
Ventilators Are a Scarcity in the United States
Approximately 160,000 ventilators are present in the United States according to a 2018 analysis by John Hopkins University Center for Health Security. However, reports suggest that the United States could need up to 750,000 as cases continue to grow.
The total number of cases in the United States are 68,954 and a total of 1,036 deaths, with over 200 reported dead on Wednesday alone.
Hence, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is concerned that “there might not be” enough ventilators if the worst-case scenario were to arise in the United States.
Since ventilators could be a shortage, companies like Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are assisting in the manufacturing of ventilators.
Ventilator Shortage in India
However, the biggest concern, when it comes to ventilators, is in India. As per a Brookings report, there are a maximum of 57,000 ventilators and if the number of cases spiral, India could need as many as 110,000-220,000 ventilators by mid-May.
As of now, the total number of cases in India are 716 and 14 have been reported dead. Since the numbers are rising rapidly, the concern for ventilators in India is all the more.
Just like the United States, Indian motor companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd are assisting in producing more ventilators.
Although ventilators alone do not cure COVID-19, they are crucial in assisting the treatment of COVID-19. Hence, countries must impose strict lockdowns to isolate individuals to minimize the need for ventilators, which are already a scarcity. For the people already tested positive for the virus, ventilators can be used to help them overcome the deadly disease.