The coronavirus outbreak brings several challenges to hospitals, the medical staff and the available resources.

Be it the number of beds in intensive care, the number of protective masks or ventilators, hospitals either need to order in advance what they anticipate they might need, or get creative with what they already have.

One ventilator for several patients

The Dutch Association of Intensive Care (NVIC) suggests, in case of an emergency situation, to use one ventilator (made for aiding patients in breathing in severe cases of coronavirus) for several patients, reports RTL Nieuws.

The suggestion comes after concerns that the number of available beds in intensive care units is quite small. Numbers published by the NVIC show that last night 644 patients were admitted in intensive care, 98 more than the day before.

As mentioned above, patients who are strongly affected by coronavirus develop breathing problems, which when left unchecked, can severely damage the lungs. Ventilators are used to help the patient breathe, and this process can take up to several weeks.

Manual made by the NVIC

The NVIC developed an instruction manual if the need comes to connect several patients to one ventilator.  Overall, the measure is temporary, and the best-case scenario is that all patients have their own individual ventilators, as the ventilators were not designed to take in several patients. Thankfully, modern ventilators have a stronger output than just one patient requires, which is why the NVIC has recommended using one for several patients.

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