New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: COVID-19's new strain is spreading like wildfire and creating havoc among people. The increasing numbers are so alarming that now it's getting very difficult for a lot of patients to actually get admitted to hospitals because, there is a shortage of beds, oxygen supplies, and even ventilator support.

There are many cases which are being reported where patients need to be put directly on immediate ventilator support. And the ones who are not getting that are succumbing to the disease. But a lot of you must be thinking that why is the situation so severe with infected people that they need ventilators. 

Why a lot of COVID-19 patients are in need of ventilators?

COVID-19 attacks the body's respiratory system directly and especially in this new strain of the virus, it is affecting the patient's lungs the most. And a lot of patients who are, COVID-19 positive and are contracting breathing problems, already have at least 25% of lung damage issues. It is being observed that infection is causing severe problems deep inside the lungs that it becomes difficult for patients to breathe. In such a situation, it is necessary to install a ventilator immediately or else one can die.

Number of patients outgrowing the number of ventilators

The real issue is that now since COVID-19 is spreading so much and affecting people so severely, that the number of patients is exceeding the number of ventilators. The problem is so prominent and big that now even the developed countries in the world are struggling with this problem at the moment. In the first phase of the virus, doctors in some countries had figured out hat which patients were infected enough to get ventilators while which ones did not need to have them installed. 

How do ventilators function?

When your lungs stop working, the body fails to get oxygen and neither the carbon dioxide which is present in the body can be pumped out. Therefore, this condition directly affects the heart, which may stop working and one may die. Therefore, that's when the role of a ventilator comes in, it helps in delivering oxygen to your body. This oxygen then reaches the parts of lungs where the infection or the fluid is filled. Meanwhile, there are modern ventilators that deliver oxygen to the body depending upon the needs of the patient. A pressure-controlled ventilator (PCV) creates some pressure between the windpipe and lung cells in such a way that maximum oxygen can reach the body. As soon as the correct pressure is formed, the harmful carbon dioxide starts pumping out of the body, thus a person starts breathing with the help of a ventilator.

Why are we suffering from a shortage of ventilators?

These days, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, there are shortages of ventilators all over the world. And the increasing demand of ventilators is making it difficult for even the developed countries to arrange for them. A high-performing ventilator costs up to 50,000 euros in Europe that translates to be around Rs 40 lakh. There are a very few companies that manufacture ventilators that are capable of functioning like artificial lungs. Although they are in a state to churn out the new units but still, looking at the increasing demand by the day it is getting difficult for them to cater so many products. 

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal