COVID-19 has not only bought us uncertainty and fear but various other issues we’re yet unsure of. As time is passing, we are getting familiar with the fact that we’ll get to hear new things every day. People who are safe from COVID-19 have a fear of not falling for this disease, that is a legit fear. But what about those who’ve recovered? No, life is not easy for them because they’ve now recovered. Life is even more difficult for them. Here is why.
Mechanical ventilators have become a symbol of the COVID-19 pandemic, representing the last best hope to survive for people who can no longer draw a life-sustaining breath. Many who go on a ventilator die and those who survive likely will face a lot of other health issues.
The actual problem begins when they have to stay on the ventilators for a longer period of time. The longer people are on ventilation, the more likely they are to suffer complications related to machine-assisted breathing. Taking this into notice, some ICUs and doctors dealing with COVID-19 patients have started to delay putting a COVID-19 patient on a ventilator to the last possible moment. Unless it is truly a life-or-death decision
Doctors Have Their Reservations About This
Many doctors that are interviewed, have the same thing to say. Not many of them disagree with the fact that patients should be avoided putting on ventilators.
Upon interviewing, one of the doctors said
“There had been a tendency earlier on in the crisis for people to put patients on ventilators early because patients were deteriorating very quickly, that is something that most of us have stepped away from doing”
Doctors say that they let the patients tolerate a little more hypoxia (oxygen deficiency). The patients are given more oxygen but are not intubated until they are truly in respiratory distress.
According to a frontline doctor ” We try not to put the patient on the ventilator prematurely, If they are shifted to a ventilator then it is the only option left”.
Words From The Patients Who Got Off Of The Ventilators
Many patients that have successfully recovered from COVID-19 and have weaned off from the ventilators, support the doctors’ views.
A lawyer and lawyer and legal blogger David Lat spent six days on a ventilator, in a critical condition and according to him the experience terrified him.
Upon asking, he mentioned “A few days earlier, after my admission to the hospital, my physician father had warned me: ‘You better not get put on a ventilator. People don’t come back from that.’“ Moreover, talking about his after-ventilator experiences he experienced breathlessness from even mild exertion. Patients who are now recovered but have been put on ventilators during the recovery period experience lack of energy. Furthermore, even activities like taking stairs or walking a little can exert them more than ever.
The reasons why this happen are also mentioned by the doctors.
What Is The Reason Behind This?
There are many experiences that support this no-ventilator decision by the doctors.
They avoid ventilators and why? Here is the reason.
Mechanical ventilators push air into the lungs of crucially ill patients. The patients must be sedated and have a tube stuck into their throat. Because a machine is breathing for them, patients often experience a weakening of their diaphragm and all the other muscles involved with drawing breath. These patients also are at risk of ventilator-associated acute lung injury, a condition caused by over-inflating the lungs during mechanical ventilation. Ventilated patients also are at increased risk of infection, and many are at risk of psychological complications There are a lot of unseen side effects. And the longer they are on a ventilator, the more likely these complications are to happen.
The cure for COVID-19 is still far from our sights. Scientists and professionals are working at it and we have our fingers crossed. Hearing about new experiments and studies every day, all we think about is “find the cure already”. But, controlling them is not only what doctors should do. We, being the responsible citizens have to play our parts too. To flatten the curve, we have to stay at homes as much as we can.
A Word From Marham
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Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.
Javeria Adil Chughtai
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