Ventilators are a standard treatment for the deadly lung infection pneumonia and one that was first used for Covid-19 patients in China and now in Europe.
YET, in a frank, *YouTube video, a New York casualty doctor Cameron Kyle-Sidell has broken ranks with the medical establishment and warns it is wrong to use ventilators in this way.
He states emphatically: “I fear this misguided treatment will lead to a tremendous amount of harm in a very short time. Covid-19 is not pneumonia and should not be treated as one.”
His video, which has been viewed around the world, in particular, experts are now asking whether the best way of saving patients might be to saturate their blood with oxygen delivered through a mask without using a ventilator.
This is the approach reportedly used during Boris Johnson’s fight for life against the virus at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital intensive care unit. Before the pandemic took hold, Kyle-Sidell’s theory might have been dismissed as maverick.
Many of the most eminent medical specialists, governments and politicians were insisting in the early days that ventilators were a crucial life-saver. Britain scrambled to get them. Health Secretary Matt Hancock promised we would have 1,500 new ventilators by the end of last week, although the NHS received just a few hundred.
As hospital virus deaths climb, the New York casualty doctor’s unorthodox views, far from being crazy, might be the very opposite – and the key to preventing deaths.
The death rate for those treated on ventilators is devastating. In one British study of 98 Covid-19 patients who were put on them or on similarly invasive breathing-support equipment, two-thirds died, according to a new report by our Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre.
- Watch the interview with Doctor Cameron Kyle-Sidell, do we need the ventilators to treat the coronavirus, is there a better treatment?