AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – In a UCHealth video, a respiratory therapist demonstrated how a mechanical ventilator works.
Candice Kmetz-Parkinson is the manager of respiratory therapy at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital.
She said patients need this machine when the lungs are no longer able to bring oxygen to the body. When a ventilator is needed, a tube is inserted into the mouth of the patient and down the windpipe.
“It’s going to inhale and exhale for you, and help work with all of the gas echange that needs to happen in the lungs,” she said.
COVID-19 patients can experience lung damage. Large numbers of them end up in the ICU and need these machines.
“For COVID patients, we’ve really seen them be on the ventilator anywhere between seven and 14 days. I would say about 10 days is probably the average,” Kmetz-Parkinson said.
UCHealth says right now it has enough ventilators, but as the number of COVID-19 patients increases it is working to acquire more.