COVID-19 Could Cause State Ventilator Shortage

While there are many symptoms of covid-19, it’s the respiratory distress that doctors say is of major concern.

“The virus goes and causes an inflammatory reaction in the windpipes, it causes dilution and inflammation in the cells which are lining these windpipes,” said medical College of Georgia School Of Medicine Professor Dr. Rabih Bechara.

Dr. Bechara said he’s seen COVID-19 patients with symptoms of fluid filling the lungs.

“This is what results in the respiratory distress syndrome, which is the most extreme manifestations that we’ve found in these patients,” said Dr. Bechara.

This is where hospital tools like ventilators come into play.

According to Dr. Bechara, “A ventilator is a machine that actually supports the lungs until they heal. So, as if it’s an artificial lung basically that’s what the aim of the ventilator is.”

He said the severity of these ventilator cases could cause a resource shortage around the country.

“What we’re seeing unfortunately is many of these patients are so sick, and they end up staying on that machine for a long time,” said Dr. Bechara.

According to Louisiana State Governor John Bel Edwards, New Orleans has received some orders of ventilators this week, but due to the rapid rate of virus cases state wide, the region could become completely lacking in supplies in a matter of weeks.