How many ventilators are available?

An adequate supply of ventilators is one of the key factors that will determine the number of severe cases leading to death by COVID19.

Do we have enough ventilators in Malta and Gozo?

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There have been countless projections, many curves, models and number crunching available on the public domain.

The increase in the rate of infections globally has been fast.

Flattening the peak of that curve‘ is key to slow it down and avoid hospitals being over-crowded.    In South Korea, for example, flattening the curve drastically reduced the mortality rate, where only 1 percent of those infected have died.

My observations are that local families have been meticulous in adhering to new directives by the Ministry of Health with most choosing to self-isolate before the new restrictions were in place.  The initiative led by the Government to increase the number of hospital beds and create more space to accommodate those that need medical care is very encouraging.   Furthermore the educational material released by the Ministry to safeguard public health is excellent.  So what needs to be done is being done.

How about those ventilators?

We know that the virus will spread.

However, will patients be at risk if plans and provisions have not been made for an adequate number of ventilators?

How many ventilators are available on the islands?  And is the number realistic to provide the necessary care that will prevent unnecessary deaths?  If not, how many more do we need?

The public need reassurance that the number of ventilators available are adequate.  With the public information flowing via the internet, it is not a surprise that many people ask questions?

Yesterday an improved economic package to help businesses survive the economic situation was announced with measures to pay the equivalent of the minimum wage for workers in some sectors and relieve employers.   This will cost the Government between €65 to €70 million per month.

Is further capital available to secure more ventilators?  Only the Government can exercise the power to order and pay for them.

What comes first – Public Health or Economy?  Should the economy be accelerated even further at the cost of human life?

People usually send me messages to discuss certain topics during my TV show.  This week viewers ask for one of my medical experts to clarify the function of ventilators in relation to COVID19. And they also ask if we have an adequate amount of ventilators.

To avoid having to bring people together to film this week, we have no live show and a repeat will be aired.  Therefore I write this blog post instead, at the request of viewers who would like answers.

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