Intubation and ventilation were billed as the only way to treat Covid19 patients in the early days of the outbreak, but now some medical professionals are questioning the practice.
Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that according to this article 66% of UK Covid19 patients put on ventilators are dying. A recent study found that, in New York, 88% of ventilated Covid patients died. In Italy it was over 81%, in Wuhan it was 86%.
Conversely, South Korea has reported good early results treating Covid19 patients with other forms of oxygen therapy, or “non-invasive ventilation”.
The question arises: If ventilators are not recommended for respiratory infections, may do more damage than they prevent and are less effective than non-invasive ventilation, why are they being so widely used?
Well, one possible reason is that, according to the WHO guidelines, non-invasive ventilation could contribute to the spread of the virus via “aerosolisation”. This is repeated in guidelines from the CDC, ECDC and other national institutions.
The UK’s NHS goes one step further again, with their March 19th protocol actually calling mechanical ventilation the “preferred” option over non-invasive ventilation or other oxygen therapies.
This leaves wide open the possibility that hospitals are using treatments known to cause harm, simply to avoid the hypothetical spread of the virus.