Hospitals all over the World are scrambling to contain the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).
Unless a miracle happens, many hospitals will run out of ventilators in the coming weeks. Because they’re full of coronavirus patients.
What are ventilators? And why are they such a crucial lifesaving tool in the COVID-19 pandemic?
Because in severe cases of COVID-19, patients develop pneumonia. But this isn't your regular pneumonia. It's wayyyyyyy more severe. Because the coronavirus pneumonia affects all of the lungs, not just small parts.
And that's why ventilators are sooooooo important right now. Because they're mechanical breathing machines that blow air into a patient’s lungs. And they help maintain high oxygen levels when the patient's lungs are filled with fluid and can't function in a normal way.
But here’s some good news. Meet Dr. Alain Gauthier.
He's an anesthetist at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital in Ontario, Canada.
Six days ago he became an internet hero because he figured how to treat up to nine patients instead of one, using only one ventilator. And one of his colleagues tweeted about it:
In simple language here’s how Dr. Alain’s hack works:
It "involves running two hoses from one ventilator and doubling the power."
10 minutes is all it takes to install, and some extra tubbing.
It's not perfect, but it works and can save many lives.
This story is a great reminder that you don't need a lot of money to be creative. We all have battles to fight. And it’s often during those battles that we are more creative. 💪