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Ventilator death toll

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Tabitha111 View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 10 2020 at 1:30pm

Covid-19 pandemic: ventilator death toll sobering but ‘not conclusive’

10 May 2020 Claire Keeton

A snapshot of mortality among Covid-19 patients on ventilators in SA is sobering, but too small and incomplete to provide a reliable picture of patient survival.

Most people with Covid-19 who
go onto mechanical ventilators will die, international studies show. “Outcomes internationally have shown mortality rates of 60% to 95% in many countries, including the US, China and Italy,” said Wits University infectious diseases specialist Dr Jeremy Nel.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases Covid-19 hospital sentinel surveillance report found that nine out of 10 patients ventilated in public hospitals die.


Comment from monotreme 100 : People should not be dissuaded from going on a ventilator if there is a chance that it could save their lives.

 However, policy on stay-at-home orders should not be made based on the number of ventilators available. If one says, “We have X ventilators, therefore, until X people need ventilators, we can relax social distancing requirements” what one is really saying is “We will let 80% of X people die until we re-impose social distancing requirements”. Unfortunately, I don’t think most people know that the latter statement is what politicians are really saying.

People should also understand that one reason deaths lag infections is because many deaths will not occur until all the ventilators in a region are in use.

Then the deaths will occur very fast because triage will be imposed and ventilators will be denied to people who have no chance to survive without one. Ironically, the more spare ventilators a community has, the longer the true toll of relaxed social distancing can be hidden from the public.

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