Ventilators Cause Their Own Damage To Lungs. Is The Trauma Worth The Benefits For COVID-19 Patients?
Only a third of COVID-19 patients placed on a ventilator survive the experience, and doctors are starting to wonder if the life-saving machine should really be used in some cases. In other news: "unprecedented" levels of blood clotting is baffling doctors and some patients attribute plasma therapy to saving their lives.
The Coronavirus Dilemma: Are We Using Ventilators Too Much?
As hospitals seek innovative solutions to treat the surge of COVID-19 patients with resources running thin, expanding ventilator supply has been central to the conversation. Research has shown that only a third of patients placed on a ventilator survive the experience. Now, some experts are wondering if ventilators could be contributing to the poor survival rate and whether ventilators are being overused. (Anoruo, 4/21)
Do I Want A Ventilator? Coronavirus Prompts More People To Consider, Or Revisit, End-Of-Life Care
They confront death daily, but the young doctors rarely pondered their own mortality until the coronavirus pandemic, when clinicians like them started dying. During an overnight lull last month, five Massachusetts General Hospital residents in their 20s and 30s recorded their health care proxies, naming who would make medical decisions for them if they became too sick to. (Martin, 4/20)
Los Angeles Times:
Who Benefits From California Coronavirus Care Guidelines?
California has made progress in protecting the healthcare system from a dramatic spike of sick patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. But state public health officials are still planning for a “worst-case scenario,” quietly publishing a sobering set of detailed guidelines to answer the troubling ethical question of who lives and who dies should California face a new surge in the coronavirus outbreak, resulting in a shortage of ventilators and medical supplies. (Luna, 4/21)
Doctors Try To Untangle Why They're Seeing 'Unprecedented' Blood Clotting Among Covid-19 Patients
Dr. Kathryn Hibbert's Covid-19 patient in the intensive care unit was not doing well. As his blood pressure plummeted, she tried to insert an intravenous line into an artery in his wrist. A blood clot clogged the tubing. Frustrated, Hibbert tried again with a new needle. A blood clot clogged up that line as well. (Cohen, 4/22)
Los Angeles Times:
What Scientists Want To Know About The Coronavirus
With some states getting ready to lift their stay-at-home orders and relax their social distancing measures, it may seem that health officials have the coronavirus outbreak under control. But researchers say there’s still much they don’t know about the virus — and the answers to their questions could help determine when it will be safe for life to return to normal. The mysteries scientists are most eager to solve have shifted somewhat since this coronavirus began sickening people in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. (Khan, 4/21)
'I Don’t Know That I'd Have Made It' Without Coronavirus Plasma Treatment, Patient Says
With a vaccine still months or years away, and no magic drug or miracle cure for the coronavirus, the cruel realities of this virus can hit families incredibly quickly. But with the scientific world working around the clock on potential lifesaving breakthroughs, there is hope. (Schlosberg and Hartung, 4/21)