In the coronavirus pandemic, ventilators, the medical devices that help patients breathe, are highly sought after and hard to find – but they are not always successful.
One in six COVID-19 patients becomes seriously ill and has difficulty breathing, according to the World Health Organization. That’s because lungs are the main battleground in COVID-19 infections, which can cripple breathing functions.
The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre in the U.K. reported that 66% of patients on ventilators died. A University of Washington medical study published March 30 noted that nine of 18 patients died.
Infected patients can develop acute respiratory distress syndrome – ARDS – a condition with a high mortality rate. Those with ARDS build up fluids in the alveoli, the tiny air sacs in the lungs that transfer oxygen to the blood and remove carbon dioxide