How many lives ventilators can save, in a pandemic like corona ?
One of my well-educated patients asked me, how ready is our state health services. How many ventilators do we have, he asked? I told him, we have enough but short of it only technically. I had great difficulty in explaining to him that ventilators are not the antidote for coronavirus.
I continued, even if we have an unlimited number of ventilator and other gadgets, the major determinant of the outcome is going to be the overall viral load, severity of lung Injury and other system involvement. Finally, it is the patient’s ultimate fighting power along with the forbidden word in medicine, ie fate.
In fact, need for ventilator is the strongest predictor of adverse outcome.However, judiously timed, non invasive assisted breathing (CPAP etc) might have a major role , since it could avoid pushing mild cases in to ventilators.
This pyramid tries to explain there are many other ways, by which, we can successfully tackle this pandemic other than critical care.
Emerging trend In India
Things look positive .The virulence of covid here seems to be less pronounced.(About 2000 cases with 50 deaths). As of now , it appears, the take off slope from phase 2 to 3 struggles to sustain.It could still be an assumption, but would love to see it as a fact.
Indian Government is on the right tract and we should all be glad about the steps taken, inspite of the collateral social suffering of the lock down.
Looking forward to celebrate the summer folks !