COVID-19 has been the worst reality of 2020! And while the infection and death counts keep increasing, different U.S cities are also coming up with positive updates about probable cures and better treatment. Recently, the University of Chicago Medical Center doctors have witnessed remarkable outcomes in COVID-19 positive patients. It came from utilizing the high flow nasal cannulas (HFNCs), instead of the intubation and ventilators to treat a few COVID-19 patients.
What exactly happened, and how?
Simply put, the HFNCs are the non-invasive nasal prongs. That get placed beneath the nostrils. It also blows a massive amount of humidified, warm oxygen inside the lungs and nose. A team of doctors for the University of Chicago Medical Center took dozens of patients from the emergency room, ailing from respiratory distress, and had put them on HFNCs, replacing the ventilators. And every patient responded correctly. Only one of the patients needed intubation after about ten days. This COVID-19 treatment process was considered highly remarkable. By Michael O’Connor, MD, University of Chicago Medical Center.
The prone positioning technique
And this process has helped the University of Chicago Medical Center doctors to avert several intubations. Additionally, it has also curbed down the scopes of adverse outcomes for COVID-19 patients. According to Thomas Spiegel, MD, Medical Director, University of Chicago Medical Center, the HFNCs and the proning method have benefited the breathing capacity. The patients’ oxygen level has improved to 80% and 90%, from 40%. Hence, the result is indeed positive and gives more hope for the future.
The most common treatment used so far is mechanical ventilation. Here the breathing tubes got inserted inside the windpipe. For the ventilator to pump in the air in a patient’s lungs.
Most of the doctors in the University of Chicago Medical Center term this process as “prevent the vent.” It is useful for COVID-19 patients who aren’t in intensive care units. It also averts the dangerous side effects that ventilators lead to, especially lung infections.
The final word for the doctors as of now
According to Thomas Spiegel, preventing intubation is the only way out. He also specified that the majority of medical professionals aren’t doing this correctly all over Chicago. However, one can only hope that the doctors sooner or later will take note of this and act accordingly.
However, here’s a word of caution for the medical fraternity and other people! The process of using HFNCs comes with its risks as well. The HFNCs blow the air out and then convert the novel coronavirus in a delicate spray in thin air. So, to secure themselves from this virus, the staff should make use of the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Other things that are essential here are the anterooms and the unfavorable pressure patient rooms. These are the rooms right beside the patient rooms, where staff can change their security gear so that others don’t get contaminated, while the treatment process is on.