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Intensive care doctors question 'overly aggressive' use of ventilators in coronavirus crisis

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Doctors seeing patients with blood oxygen levels so low they are surprised they are conscious – yet they are sitting up and talking.

British and American intensive care doctors at the front line of the coronavirus crisis are starting to question the aggressive use of ventilators for the treatment of patients. 

In many cases, they say the machines – which are highly invasive and require the patient to be rendered unconscious – are being used too early and may cause more harm than good. Instead they are finding that less invasive forms of oxygen treatment through face masks or nasal cannulas work better for patients, even those with very low blood oxygen readings.

Dr Ron Daniels, a consultant in critical care at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, on Thursday confirmed reports from US medics that he and other NHS doctors were revising their view of when ventilators should be used. 

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Source: The Telegraph, 9 April 2020

 

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