Remember the ventilator

According to our model, the global death rate due to Covid-19 is around 1 percent for all infected (including unreported). However, if it were not for modern medicine and in particular the ventilator, the death rate would be much higher. Additionally, the pandemic first raged in the developed world and is only recently engulfing parts of the world where medical care is not as ubiquitous although this may be mitigated by a younger populace in those places. The delay between the appearance of a Covid-19 case and deaths is also fairly long; our model predicts a mean of over 50 days. So the lower US death rate compared to April could change in a month or two when the effects of the recent surges in the US south and west are finally felt.

An overview of mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit

2 thoughts on “Remember the ventilator

  1. Actually the big thing now is high flow nasal canula (HFNC). Patients don’t do well on ventilators, stay on for a long time, and sometimes never get off. We try to keep them on HFNC as long as we can if we can. But sometimes they stay on for weeks and then crump.


  2. I’ve noticed that death rates between covid and influenza are sometimes bandied about for comparison. But, what’s not said is that the comparison is really between influenza (with most folks having received the vaccine) and Covid, for which there is no vaccine yet. It’s not an apples to apples comparison, but it is a fatality rate comparison with the best that medicine can throw at either problem. Thus, your post on “the death rate for Covid would be higher if not for a ventilator” could also be written as “the death rate for influenza would be higher if not for the vaccine”. Plus, the death rate for influenza is much higher for young children than it is for Covid. Just my $0.02 worth.


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