Nearly all patients on ventilators in a health system died, study finds

Nearly all patients on ventilators in a health system died, study finds
A ventilator is a device that forces air into the lungs of patients who cannot breathe on their own because of acute respiratory distress syndrome or severe pneumonia. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: A study has found that nearly all coronavirus patients who needed ventilators in New York’s largest health system died.

According to the study, about 20% of Covid-19 patients treated at Northwell Health died, and 88% of those placed on ventilators died. A ventilator is a device that forces air into the lungs of patients who cannot breathe on their own because of acute respiratory distress syndrome or severe pneumonia.

Other, smaller reports have indicated that patients who need ventilator to breathe are unlikely to survive.

Dr. Safiya Richardson at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Northwell Health, and colleagues found that just 12% of the patients in the study needed ventilators, and the study shows how dire the outlook is for patients with severe Covid-19 disease.

It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Safiya Richardson and her team looked at the electronic health records of 5,700 patients with coronavirus disease hospitalized at Northwell Health.

Final outcomes were known for 2,634 of them.

The record support what doctors have been saying about the coronavirus that patients who have underlying physical condition are more vulnerable.

More than half of the patients, or 57% to be specific had high blood pressure, 41% were obese and 34% had diabetes.

The researchers wrote: “Of the patients who died, those with diabetes were more likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation or care in the ICU compared with those who did not have diabetes.”

The study also confirmed that men were more likely to die than women, and no one under the age of 18 died.

About 17% of patients were breathing too fast and just under 30% needed extra oxygen. On average, patients were sent home after four days.

But 14% were treated in intensive care, 3% needed intensive dialysis and 21% died.

Meanwhile, new signs are appearing that the Trump administration is shunting science aside in the battle against coronavirus.

The most stunning development on Wednesday emerged when a top administration official working on a vaccine claimed he was ousted because of resisting efforts to push unproven drugs promoted by President Donald Trump and his conservative media cheerleaders as “game changer” treatments.

That development was followed by a bewilderingly inconsistent White House briefing. Conflicting messages from the administration on when to reboot the economy, the severe need for testing and the possibility of a resurface of the virus combined with Trump’s effort to suppress facts that jar with his insistence that the end of a coronavirus nightmare likely to last many more months is near.