Coronavirus | Are we overusing ventilators in the fight against COVID-19?
by Charles Horton, M.D.
Posted 5/26/20, 04:34 pm
Reports of coronavirus victims often include pictures of intensive care units filled with intubated patients—that is, patients with breathing tubes connected to ventilators. Long used to help patients who are under anesthesia or whose breathing has failed, ventilators mechanically push air into the lungs under pressure. Like any powerful tool, they should be used wisely—and reports are starting to suggest that, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, wise use of ventilators may mean less use of them.