Simple, inexpensive drugs to treat COVID are few and far between. But we may have a new, old pill to add to the arsenal. A new study tells us how well it works.
Is sticking your finger down your throat a pleasant experience? How about sticking it down there and leaving it for three weeks? You probably wouldn't want to be awake for that, but a shortage of IV hospital drugs is causing some real problems for intubated patients on ventilators. And guess what drug they're out of? Fentanyl(!). And if you read on you'll get that, plus a bubble bath with Kim Jong-un, all in one idiotic article.
We will soon be approaching the moment when, despite all of our best efforts, we'll be one ventilator shy of what's needed. It's now time to share what critical-care physicians and nurses have known for some time, and what they're planning to do when that moment arrives.
As the number of patients requiring ventilatory assistance to survive COVID-19 rises, and with no new ventilators in sight, a "Hail Mary" technique is starting to be used. Can a machine designed to help one patient be reconfigured to support two or more? And can it protect society at large, even just a bit, from surging hospital admissions?