Musings —04.03.2020 07:54 AM—
Some of you were upset that I said – and so stipulated in my living will – that I didn’t want to be put on a ventilator, if I got sick enough. Some questioned how I got to that point. Here’s how.
Most coronavirus patients who end up on ventilators go on to die, according to several small studies from the U.S., China and Europe. And many of the patients who continue to live can’t be taken off the mechanical breathing machines… The largest study so far to look at mortality among coronavirus patients on ventilators was done by the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre in London. It foundthat among 98 ventilated patients in the U.K., just 33 were discharged alive. The numbers from a study of Wuhan, China, are even grimmer. Only 3 of 22 ventilated patients survived. And a study of 18 ventilated patients in Washington state found that nine were still alive when the study ended, but only six had recovered enough to breathe on their own. All the early research suggests that once coronavirus patients are placed on a ventilator, they will probably need to stay on it for weeks. And the longer patients remain on a breathing machine, the more likely they are to die.