Many governors, mayors and medical officials have enthusiastically supported obtaining more mechanical ventilators to treat COVID-19 lung infections. It seems they have assumed that the ventilators constitute the magical solution for treating infected patients. If so, it is a dangerous assumption. The painful reality is most COVID-19 patients put on ventilators are unlikely to survive.
A recent op-ed. in USA Today has described the situation correctly, "Ventilators won't fix the ailments that put patients on them." Dr. Tiffany Osborn, a critical care specialist at Washington University in St. Louis, who has been caring for coronavirus patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, told National Public Radio, "It's very concerning to see how many patients who require ventilation do not make it out of the hospital."
Understanding the essential mechanism of ventilators and how COVID-19 affects the lungs could have predicted the above frightening reality. Ventilators are machines that help bring air in and out of the alveolar sacs, the small air sacs in the lungs. If the oxygen contained in this air cannot pass through the wall of the alveoli — a process called diffusion — then the ventilation process is, essentially, useless.
Sad, but the main effect of a COVID-19 infection centers predominantly in this wall of the small air sacs in the lungs, thereby rendering the process delivering sufficient oxygen to the body very difficult.
In addition, recent research has shown that COVID-19 attacks the blood’s hemoglobin in a way that makes the blood unable to obtain oxygen effectively from the lungs, even if the ventilation process is intact. As a result, ventilators can bring air into the lungs, but the disease prevents oxygen from reaching the blood.
The above points illustrate why ventilators will never be a solution to patients with COVID-19 lung infections.
The proper way to attack COVID-19’s inflammatory damage to the alveolar wall in the lungs is to inhibit the virus from replicating via drugs such as the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combo.
Otherwise, using mechanical ventilators to save patients’ lives is unlikely to be successful.
I find it bizarre to see such widespread enthusiasm for using ventilators — and accusations that the Trump administration has not done enough to produce them in mass quantities —without sufficient evidence that they work effectively against COVID-19 lung infections.
This is doubly true because the virus did not even exist more than few months ago.
Yet, the same people have been warning against using chloroquine despite its initial success results and despite the fact that its mechanism in inhibiting other corona viruses is well-known.
All of this renders the enthusiasm to buy more ventilators, instead of promoting the use of the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combo, nothing short of irrational.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid (aka Tarek Abdelhamid) M.D.; Mlitt (Edu) has testified before Congress and before the European Parliament. Dr. Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: How Radical Islam Works, Why It Should Terrify Us, How to Defeat It." Read more reports from Tawfik Hamid — Click Here Now.
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