Officials, Health Workers Encouraged by Increase in Patients Recovering After Going Onto Ventilators

Venus Upadhayaya
By Venus Upadhayaya
April 12, 2020US News
Officials, Health Workers Encouraged by Increase in Patients Recovering After Going Onto Ventilators
An EMT tends to a COVID-19 patient arriving to the Montefiore Medical Center Wakefield Campus in the Bronx borough of New York City on April 6, 2020. (John Moore/Getty Images)

COVID-19 patients need ventilators at critical times, but those put on them have a low rate of survival. However, recent cases of recovery in long-term ventilator patients have encouraged administration and health care professionals.

On April 9, the federal COVID-19 task force talked about a “great report from Louisiana” that said an increasing number of patients on ventilators are coming out alive. There are similar recovery stories being reported from around the nation.

Deborah Birx, a task force member, talked about encouraging data in a media briefing on Thursday.

“The testing rates, the seropositivity, the age groups, who really needs hospitalization, ICU, the innovative pieces coming from—we heard a great report from Louisiana this morning on that phone call where they talked about a minimum now of 40 percent of people coming out of ventilators alive and leaving the hospital,” she said.

On Saturday afternoon there were over 520,000 total confirmed cases of infection in the United States, with more than 20,000 deaths and 28,000 recoveries.

Birx said the increasing cases of recovery are encouraging news for the administration. “It really shows amazing progress, clinically, at each of these hospitals, and the real lessons—what we’re learning and sharing across hospitals,” she said.

Need of Ventilators

Many COVID-19 patients suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome–ARDS, a condition where fluids build up in the tiny sacks of the lungs called alveoli that play an important role in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs. More than 40 percent of COVID-19 patients suffer from ARDS, and when their oxygen level falls to critical levels, they need ventilators, according to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Ventilators are very important for CCP virus patients because they can help them to breathe at critical times, but they are not always successful.

Michael Dowling, the president and CEO of Northwell Health said on CBS News’ Face the Nation on April 5 that in his observation, patients only have a 20 percent chance of survival after going on ventilators.

Doctors at the Central Arkansas Veterans Health care system called one case of recovery of a long-term ventilator patient a miracle, according to 21 News.

Dr. Matthew Burns said that COVID-19 patients who need ventilators don’t recover at a fast rate.

Burns said the recovery of David Williams, a long-term ventilator patient, was a great morale booster for health care professionals fighting the CCP virus pandemic.

“It was a big confidence booster to the whole VA, ‘hey we can do this, we can make it through this pandemic together,'” Burns told 21News.

In another case, 55-year-old Ines Santacruz in Colorado came out alive after ten days on a ventilator on Friday. A few of Santacruz’s family members got infected and the grandmother of nine fell sick on March 13, according to 9News.

While other family members recovered at home, Santacruz fell very sick by the end of March and had to be shifted to a hospital where she spent 16 days, intubated for 10 of them.

When admitted to the ICU at the University of Colorado, UC Health, her lungs were already affected with pneumonia and she was very critical.

“They had to put her on a ventilator. We were just an emotional wreck,” Santacruz’s daughter Elvira told 9News.

This was followed by a medically induced coma in the ICU and treatment with antibiotics and hydroxychloroquine. After 10 days of intensive care, Santacruz was freed of the ventilator and a week later she walked out of the hospital.

USA Today cited a University of Washington report that says most COVID-19 patients require at least 10 days to recoup when under a ventilator. Used only in intensive care units, ventilators are removed once a patient can breathe on their own.

From The Epoch Times

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