State authorities are trying to acquire another 30,000 artificial respiratory devices to save people infected with COVID-19
The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, said on Thursday that there would be less than a week’s supply of ventilators at his disposal.
“With the current growth rate [of infections], the stock of ventilators we have on hand will last for about six days,” Cuomo said in an interview with reporters in the capital of New York, Albany.
“This means that if the rate of use, the rate at which people in need of mechanical ventilation come to hospitals remain at the same level, then we have about six days left,” the governor said.
Cuomo warned that if the rate of infection with COVID-19 increases, or if the expected number of infections at peak will exceed forecasts or will last longer, the staff will face a shortage of vital breathing apparatus.
The governor’s team is working on the purchase of 30,000 ventilation devices for the needs of the state, in which 19.5 million people live. Half of them will be sent to New York, which accounts for about 60% of coronavirus infections in the state. However, in conditions when the demand for such devices has increased sharply around the world, the task is becoming more complicated: in many cases, the rapid purchase of this equipment is simply impossible.
In New York, people are trying to solve the problem creatively: for example, hospitals were allowed to re-equip the devices so that two patients could use one machine at a time. In addition, doctors will convert anesthesia devices and two-phase ventilation devices under mechanical ventilation, which are also able to push air into the patient’s lungs. The state canceled all scheduled operations in order to release all the available mechanical ventilation devices for the treatment of people infected with coronavirus.
“Yes, the speed of use of ventilators is a concern, and the fact that we have six days left in stock is also a cause for concern. But we took all these extraordinary measures, which, I think, at a critical moment will allow us to be in good shape, ”Cuomo added.
According to the governor, about 350 people come in every day to state hospitals who need mechanical ventilation. The state has about 2200 vehicles left in reserve. They will be used as needed. The governor is confident that the current 2,200 devices will “disappear very quickly.”
To date, the federal government has allocated 4,400 ventilators to the state.