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CPAP Device as Ventilator

03/27/2020

Just in from experts from the American Sleep Apnea Association: CPAP, BiPAP and related devices may serve as ventilators for some COVID-19 and other respiratory failure patients. Current estimates suggest severe shortage of ventilators in U.S. hospital intensive care units before the Coronavirus epidemic peaks. 

If you own a device for treating obstructive sleep apnea, take it with you if you go for coronavirus testing, especially if you go to an urgent care clinic or hospital. Even if you can get an ordinary ventilator when you get to the ICU, by using your own device, you may leave the ventilator for someone else who needs it. If the hospital does not have a ventilator, your device may suffice.

If you have an unused device, consider donating it. You may have to decide whether to keep it for yourself or make it available to save the life of another.

In the meantime, stay safe: Isolation rules.

Berry Edwards, MD