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Which covid-19 patients will get a ventilator if there’s a shortage?

Health | Analysis 26 March 2020 By Alice Klein Governments are trying to increase the number of ventilators available in hospitalsSudok1/Getty ImagesIf the coronavirus pandemic causes a shortage of ventilators, who will be attached to these potentially life-saving machines and who won’t? This is the grim question doctors around the world are currently grappling with.…



Health


| Analysis

26 March 2020

By Alice Klein

ICU ventilator

Governments are trying to increase the number of ventilators available in hospitals

Sudok1/Getty Images

If the coronavirus pandemic causes a shortage of ventilators, who will be attached to these potentially life-saving machines and who won’t?

This is the grim question doctors around the world are currently grappling with. Life-or-death choices are already being made in Italy, where covid-19 has claimed more than 7500 lives. Doctors in Bergamo in northern Italy have said that “older patients are not being resuscitated and die alone” because hospital resources are so overstretched with cases.

According to data from China, about 2 per cent …

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