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Doctors tweak ventilator treatment for Covid-19 patients

Published : Apr 11, 2020, 7:20 am IST
Updated : Apr 11, 2020, 7:20 am IST

Ventilator management was crucial in 2009 swine flu cases too

Sometimes ventilators are not giving the results doctors expect from them. (File photo:AP)
 Sometimes ventilators are not giving the results doctors expect from them. (File photo:AP)

Hyderabad: An estimated 5 per cent of the Covid-19 patients need ventilator support. Doctors treating the disease have noticed that about two percent of the cases patients are resulting in death due to excess oxygen. Post-mortem reports have shown clots in the blood vessels, making doctors conclude that ventilator management has to be drastically improved and changed.

Ventilator support in respiratory diseases is given to patients so that they can breathe comfortably and allow the lungs to recuperate. But this is not seen to be happening in all Covid-19 cases.

Experts say that when patients are put on ventilator support, instead of improving their situation, it is leading to further deterioration. Their haemoglobin levels are found to increase, which is the opposite of the anticipated effect. 

Pneumonia caused due to the Covid-19 virus has clinical presentations that are dissimilar to pneumonia from other viruses. Hence, not only its treatment in terms of medicines but also ventilator management has to be different.

A senior pulmonologist explained, “Presently, among those who are going on ventilator support, patients who are coming out of it successfully are cases in whom the treatment protocol has been slightly changed. We will have to assess the data from these cases and accordingly come to a standard protocol.”

Dr C Vijay Kumar, senior pulmonologist, Apollo Hospitals, said, “Swine flu in 2009 presented us with similar problems. It took us six months to understand the differences in ventilator management we had to introduce. We will take time to understand it in case of Covid-19 too."

Tags: ventilator, covid-19, excess oxygen
Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad