Surgeon general tells hospitals they can split ventilators to ease demand as ‘absolute last resort’

March 31, 2020 / By Andrew O’Reilly | Fox News

The Trump administration on Tuesday told hospitals they can start splitting ventilators between two patients in an attempt to remedy the dearth of the machines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

An open letter to health care workers from Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health, did caution that splitting ventilators should “only be considered as an absolute last resort,” but the note underscores the mounting concerns among both public officials and hospital workers over the lack of ventilators available.

“Such a strategy should only be considered as an absolute last resort, judged against the alternatives of long term ‘hand bagging’ or death,” Adams and Giroir said in the letter. “These decisions must be made on an individual institution, care-provider, and patient level. However, we do know that many institutions are evaluating this practice, and protocols are being developed and tested, and in some places, preliminarily implemented.”

The practice of splitting ventilators is currently being used in some Italian hospitals that are overrun by patients with COVID-19 and it’s been reported that at least one hospital in New York City — the current epicenter of the virus in the United States with more than 38,000 confirmed cases — has put patients on split ventilators.


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Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a medical device sales leader with extensive clinical experience in spine and biologics and a nationwide distribution network built over the last 10+ years in the industry. He has held various leadership positions in healthcare and device including Distributor Partner, Hospital COO and Spine VP of Sales. He currently leads the commercialization strategy for OrthoSpine Partners and is a Distributor Principal at Novel Medical. Because of his unique career path, Mike has the ability to see the healthcare business from multiple perspectives making him passionate about building strategic partnerships that help reduce overall costs, drive innovation, and cultivate growth for new markets.

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