A medical staff tends to a patient inside the COVID-19 intensive care unit at the San Filippo Neri hospital in Rome. Photo: Reuters
As the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic hits hospitals, the hiss and bubble of advanced respiratory support is an increasingly familiar sound on medical wards. This is because some patients who become severely unwell with COVID-19 suffer from respiratory failure
and so require breathing support.
This support can be both “invasive”, where a ventilator delivers air to the patient via a tube inserted into the windpipe, or “non-invasive”, where patients are assisted using devices that remain outside the body. Non-invasive techniques are not new, but the pandemic has transformed how they are used. Previously not in routine use outside of the intensive care unit (ICU), they have become a standard of care.
With clinical opinion changing so quickly, it’s worth
First Published: Nov 30 2020 | 11:43 AM IST