After three Covid-19 patients died at the make-shift Nightingale Hospital in London following a breathing tube mix-up, NHS trusts in England could be issued tougher ventilation guidance. In each of the cases, filters which prevent the build-up of fluid were not attached to the machines, resulting in dangerous blockages, but it has not yet been determined if these incidents contributed to their deaths.
Coroner Nadia Persaud has said the way the machines vary from model to model can be "confusing" and may lead to future deaths, also ruling that the classification and colour coding was "worthy of review, simplification, and standardisation".
The original coroners report, carrying advice from an independent expert said "In my opinion, the non-standardised colour coding used by manufacturers of these filters, the number of different types of filters with different names, the variable optimal position of the filters, and whether a wet or a dry breathing system is being used, results in an extremely confusing situation. One of the leading manufacturers of these filters produces HMEs that are blue, which is the same colour as the non-HME filters supplied by another company. In my experience, few doctors and nurses working in ICU are knowledgeable about all these different filters and which ones should be used for any given breathing system."
Inquests into the deaths are scheduled for October.
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Source: The Daily Mail, 17 August 2021