Covid-19: Shortage of ventilators in Haiti

As Haiti fights the coronavirus, it’s also facing a shortage of ventilators. A ventilator is a machine designed to provide mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently.

Stephan Dragon, a Respiratory Therapist with 22 years experience at different large hospitals in South Florida tells Haiti Telegraph that most covid-19 patients will end up on a ventilator due to increased production of mucus (pneumonia like symptom) which makes them unable to breathe.

Dragon says Haiti has no more than 20 ventilators with very limited capacities including 12 that are able to fight the virus. 8 to 10 of the ventilators were donated after the earthquake. Those are recent enough to help fight the covid-19 virus. “Meanwhile if a therapist has great clinical experience he or she should be able to work with them”. added Stephan Dragon.

The average good ventilators cost betwen $25,000 and $50,000. There are some available at $5000 but with very limited capacities.
Dragon recommends that health professionals consult with experienced clinicians with serious knowledge of ventilators in order to make the appropriate decision.

Adma Riche / HT

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