Urgent warning about ventilator use on coronavirus patients, new research study
(NaturalHealth365) In the United States alone, over 105,000 people have died with a COVID-19 infection since the pandemic began in December 2019. And, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that some of these deaths have been “misclassified” – perhaps more than many people realize – it’s certain that many people are getting sick and suffering from this viral infection. Yet, the main “treatment” of this illness – the use of a ventilator – is being seriously questioned.
No doubt, there are many healthcare providers working tirelessly to discover the best way to treat COVID-19, as well as what the ideal “medical management” of patients should be. But as more research and data comes out, many medical experts now worry that the use of a ventilator could cause more harm than good.
A new analysis sheds some important light on this controversial issue.
New study suggests many COVID-19 deaths may have been hastened or brought on by inappropriate mechanical ventilation
In April, the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene published a paper summarizing the best available evidence for respiratory care in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. That data reveals doctors and physicians should re-evaluate their reliance on mechanical ventilation for this population, and stop being so quick to intubate people.
The reason: it appears mechanical ventilation can damage the lungs of very ill (and especially elderly) COVID-19 patients – in other words, it can cause more harm than good. This is likely due to an as-yet poorly understood function of the new disease, which seems to behave differently than other respiratory illnesses.
Possible theories include:
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Lungs of severely ill COVID-19 patients are often covered with a thick mucous, preventing the lungs from being able to uptake any oxygen (even if it’s being forced into the lungs via a vent)
Healthy lung tissue sitting nearby damaged tissue is elastic, making it susceptible to inflammation, tissue damage and other types of “ventilator-induced injury” when exposed to high pressure forced oxygen-enriched air (imagine filling a balloon with an air hose used for car tires)
It’s a bit ironic, of course, to see medical professionals voicing their concerns over the excessive use of ventilators just weeks after the media was in a fury over ventilator “shortages” and lambasting state officials for failing to procure enough machines for their hospitals.
Bottom line: Mechanical ventilation are likely to be overprescribed as doctors scramble to figure out other medical options
To be clear, there are some COVID-19 patients for whom mechanical ventilation seems appropriate – for example, people who are deteriorating quickly and experiencing severe respiratory failure, despite being given excessive noninvasive respiratory support first (such as high flow oxygen via a nasal cannulus).
But this new research indicates that intubating someone simply because their blood oxygen levels are low, for example, is unwarranted and “jumping the gun,” to say the least. We are now hearing reports from doctors around the world who are left awestruck by their hospitalized coronavirus patients who seem to be tolerating extremely low levels of oxygen.
Many point out that because seriously ill patients are the ones that should be put on ventilators, this could at least partly explain why 50 percent or more of COVID-19 patients who end up on ventilators die. That is, their critical illness coupled with underlying health conditions would likely have led to their demise anyway, with or without mechanical ventilation.
But sadly, this correlation may not explain away all the ventilated COVID-19 deaths. Many doctors now suspect that too many COVID-19 patients have been put on ventilators even when it wasn’t medically indicated. It may be some time before we learn the true impact of this tragic medical misstep.
Sources for this article include: