coronavirus, explainer

CORONAVIRUS is continuing its deadly spread and some of its victims are relying on ventilators to keep them alive.

More than 472,760 people have been struck down by the illness across the globe and demand for the life-saving machinery is increasing.

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What exactly is a ventilator?

Ventilators are life saving devices which help patients who cannot breathe properly on their own by pumping air into their lungs.

This machine gets oxygen into the lungs and the body and helps to get rid of carbon dioxide.

How do ventilators work?

A ventilator is connected to the patient through a tube placed into their mouth or nose and inserted into the windpipe (this is known as intubation).

In some cases, patients have surgery to have a hole made in their neck, and a tracheostomy or “trach” tube is inserted through the hole to the trachea.

How do they help coronavirus sufferers?

Covid-19 targets the lungs and can cause complications like pneumonia.

Severe cases will require a ventilator to be able to deliver enough oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Without one, the patient could die.

Why is there a shortage in the UK?

Currently, the NHS has just over 8,000 ventilators, the government thinks it can procure a further 8,000 from existing domestic and international suppliers.

However, it estimates that the NHS will need at least 30,000 to deal with the potential flood of virus victims.

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Where will the Government find more ventilators?

The government has ordered 10,000 ventilators from Dyson to help deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The firm, headed by British inventor Sir James Dyson, said it had designed a new type of ventilator in response to a call on behalf of the NHS.


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