One of the biggest challenges faced by health workers around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic is to save the lives of a critically ill patient. When the number of patients needing critical care overtakes the available medical infrastructure.
Countries with a large number of cases are struggling to meet the demand for supplies, equipment needed to arm those on the front lines against COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the virus.
As per the World Health Organization, one in six COVID-19 patients becomes seriously ill and can develop breathing difficulties.
What are Ventilators?
A mechanical ventilator is an automatic machine designed to provide all or part of the work the body must do to move gas into and out of the lungs. The act of moving air in and out of the lungs is called breathing, or, more formally, ventilation.
Uses of ventilators:
- To get oxygen into the lungs and body
- To help the body get rid of carbon dioxide through the lungs
- To ease the work of breathing—some people can breathe on their own, but it is very hard. They feel short of breath and uncomfortable.
- To breathe for a person who is not breathing because of injury to the nervous system, like the brain or spinal cord, or who has very weak muscles.
What is the use of ventilators in treatment for coronavirus?
When your lungs inhale and exhale air normally, they take in the oxygen your cells need to survive and expel carbon dioxide. COVID-19 can inflame your airways and essentially drown your lungs in fluids.
A ventilator mechanically helps pump oxygen into your body. The air flows through a tube that goes in your mouth and down your windpipe. The ventilator also may breathe out for you, or you may do it on your own.
The ventilator can be set to take a certain number of breaths for you per minute. Your doctor also may decide to program the ventilator to kick in when you need help. In this case, the machine will blow air into your lungs automatically if you haven’t taken a breath in a set amount of time.
As of March 27, India only has 40000 ventilators. According to experts, India needs more than 80% more ventilators that we have now. Mahindra, Maruti, Hyundai like many tech giants came forward to produce ventilators. One can understand the importance of ventilators by reading this article.