As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has urged hospitals running low on ventilators to consider alternate devices.
Of those tested positive for COVID-19, a small percentage; largely the elderly, diabetics, or those suffering from a lung disease will experience acute respiratory distress syndrome. The FDA started this week that medical professionals should consider alternative devices that can deliver breaths or pressure support for patients requiring breathing support. “Health care providers should use their judgment based on the condition of the patient and the circumstances in the facility to choose the best option,” FDA officials said.
Some of the alternate devices include: home use continuous ventilators, emergency transport ventilators (for stable patients), anesthesia gas machines, noninvasive ventilation, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, and Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP or BPAP) machines. Although these are approved by the FDA to use on an as-required method, the alternative devices should be used only when the medical team advises.
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