Ensuring ventilator capacity in the USA.

In correspondence to the Lancet yesterday, authors from the USA highlight concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic’s potential to lead to a shortage of ventilators and respiratory support for those patients requiring it. Their calculations project a shortfall of at least 45,341 mechanical ventilators (which breathe for the patient) and 77,289 non-invasive devices.

The authors urge a three-pronged approach to reducing the mismatch between available supply and patient need for respiratory support: 

  1. Strictly applied social distancing to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases

  2. A nationalised allocation system to co-ordinate the likely regional variation in outbreak peaks

  3. Urgent acquisition and production of more ventilators and respiratory devices.

Read: Projecting the demand for ventilators at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in the USA

Reference:

Wells CR et. al. Projecting the demand for ventilators at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in the USA. Lancet. :April 20, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30315-7

Written by Dr Rachel Coles, Education Fellow, on 21st April 2020.

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