Ventilator shortage spurs team of doctors to take extreme measures

By April 13, 2020Healthcare Heroes

A group of doctors are working on a procedure in which one ventilator can serve multiple patients, as medical professionals across the U.S. fight on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Ventilators are in critically short supply nationwide, and are needed to keep patients alive in the most serious stage of COVID-19.

“We’re able to ventilate, successfully, two patients for about an hour using this system,” Dr. Matthew Levin told CBS News’ Don Dahler.

Levin and his team at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital used parts bought at Home Depot to convert a ventilator meant for one to aid two patients, and are now on their third version of the device.

“They’re basically plumbing valves like you might find in your basement,” he said.

The group used a YouTube video in which Detroit physician Dr. Charlene Babcock demonstrated the process. The team first tested on realistic mannequins before they were recently able to vent two humans with one machine.

“The thing about ventilators is they have a lot of capacity – and so when you look at it, it really can potentially ventilate … more than one patient,” Babcock said.

 

Source: CBS News

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