Since the coronavirus pandemic started spreading around the world, you have been hearing more and more about the importance of ventilators in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. But why exactly are ventilators so vital for coronavirus patients and how many ventilators does Nigeria have in total? Find out right now!
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1. Why are ventilators so important?
Like most people in the world, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably haven’t thought about ventilators at all and mostly saw them in movies and TV shows when they were used to revive severely ill patients. However, with the spread of the coronavirus disease, millions of people are now wondering what ventilators actually are and how they are used.
You have probably heard that in the most serious cases, the coronavirus causes the patient’s lungs to fail. This is where a ventilator comes to the rescue. To specify the purpose of a ventilator in a few words, it helps the person breathe when their lungs no longer work properly.
On average, one in six patients develop complications from the coronavirus. Their lungs become filled with fluid, causing the blood oxygen level to drop and the patient to develop difficulty breathing. In some cases, a person can only survive thanks to being treated with a ventilator.
This is where one of the main fears of the COVID-19 is born. With a large percentage of the population being infected, the percentage of people who need ventilator treatment also increases. And since there is a clear shortage of ventilators in most countries around the world, including Nigeria, there are concerns that there may not be enough ventilators for every coronavirus patient in a serious condition.
2. Ventilators in Nigeria
At the beginning of the pandemic, it was reported that there are up to 500 ventilators around the country. Although that number is still relatively low considering Nigeria’s vast population, the reports were more or less reassuring.
However, in early April, new reports surfaced. According to the updated information, in sixteen states, there are only 169 ventilators, which puts the average number of ventilators per state around 10. The report in question does not cover Lagos, FCT, and other highly populated states where the number of infected patients is currently high.
Individuals workers from the nation’s hospitals came out with their own anonymous report stating that there is either a limited number of ventilators in the hospital or the state of available ventilators is far from perfect. This is actually a major concern, since many Nigerian hospitals have ventilators that are either outdated or haven’t been maintained properly.
A brand new hospital-grade ventilator costs between ₦9 million and ₦18 million, which makes it hardly possible for Nigerian hospitals to purchase a large number of ventilators due to limited funding. Somewhat reassuringly, Nigerian authorities reported that most of the patients currently battling the coronavirus did not require the use of a ventilator.
The most important takeaway from the ventilator situation in Nigeria is that if the number of patients grows and many patients have trouble breathing on their own, there may simply not be enough ventilators to save everyone. That is why we need to do our due diligence and prevent the spread of the disease by staying at home, limiting our social contacts, and using the necessary protection, including face masks and hand sanitizers.
Read more: How To Produce Hand Sanitizer At Home
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