Karnataka to use ventilators to treat Covid patients and reduce medical oxygen use

Bangalore, May 12 (IANS): Ventilators would be used to treat Covid patients instead of high-flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) to reduce gas demand due to soaring cases amid the second wave of the pandemic, the minister said on Tuesday of Karnataka Health, K. Sudhakar.

“We decided to use more ventilators to treat severe Covid patients than to use HFNO to reduce the increasing demand for medical oxygen in ICUs in public and private hospitals,” he told reporters after have looked at the statewide pandemic situation.

Since patients with moderate symptoms need 20 to 60 liters of oxygen per minute, the minister said using non-invasive ventilators as an alternative would reduce dependence on oxygen, which is in short supply due to the growing demand from all over the country.

“Covid patients will be transferred to ventilated beds from oxygenated beds to reduce the demand for HFNO by 80 percent,” Sudhakar said.

As part of the ramp-up of healthcare infrastructure, the minister said 50 oxygen beds and six ventilators have been provided to every Taluk hospital across the state in the past eight months.

“Anesthesiologists and doctors are being hired on contract to operate ventilators due to the lack of specialists in Taluk hospitals,” he said.

The state health department has also decided to install video surveillance at all Covid-designated hospitals across the state to remotely monitor patient treatment and ensure optimal bed use.

Admitting that the death rate from Covid in some districts is high, Sudhakar said early detection and treatment is essential for recovery and prevention of deaths.

“As the positivity rate climbed to 33.09 percent on Monday, there are all-out efforts to reduce it to less than 5 percent in the near future,” he added.

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