Expert Pitch

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Converting Anesthesia Machines to Ventilators for COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, hospitals are concerned about a shortage of personal protective equipment and ventilators that help critically ill patients breathe. In order to compensate for lack of ventilators, hospitals have started to convert anesthesia machines into breathing machines. 

Michael McLaughlin, an assistant professor and assistant program director of the Rutgers Nurse Anesthesia program, who has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis and intubated many COVID-19 patients, discusses how this conversion works and how it helps to alleviate the ventilator shortage.

What is an anesthesia machine?

An anesthesia machine is a medical device typically used to administer inhalation anesthesia. It delivers a mix of anesthesia gases and oxygen to patients while also monitoring blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature. Anesthesia machines consist of flowmeters, vaporizers, CO2 absorbers, sources of compressed gases and a mechanical ventilator.

How quickly and easily can an anesthesia machine be converted to a ventilator? 

Anesthesia machines can be converted to ventilators in a matter of minutes with a few simple modifications such as the addition of a heat and humidity exchange filter to the breathing circuit and the removal of anesthetic gas vaporizers.

Do we need extra resources to make these conversions possible? 

An anesthesia professional, such as a certified registered nurse anesthetist can assist in setting up the machine to be used as a ventilator and should be immediately available at all times to manage the use of the anesthesia machine as a ventilator.  Anesthesia machines must be managed by anesthesia professionals trained in their use and require specific knowledge and skills to optimize their function and to ensure patient safely.

During a crisis when respiratory therapists and other health care providers may be short-staffed or stressed, it is not recommended they be trained to operate new equipment.

How will this take pressure off hospitals that are still scrambling to secure ventilators?

Currently, the FDA has not approved anesthesia machines to be utilized for long-term ventilatory support in an ICU setting, but anesthesia machines can provide life-sustaining mechanical ventilation. In a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, operating rooms are only being used for emergency surgery, freeing up anesthesia machines to be used as ventilators.




Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5639
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 14-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Access to overdose-reversing drugs declined during pandemic, researchers find
Beth Israel Lahey Health

In a new study, clinician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) analyzed naloxone prescription trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and compared them to trends in opioid prescriptions and to overall prescriptions.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
No Excuses: Stop Procrastinating on These Key Health Checks
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A quick guide to the most-valuable preventive care that adults need to get scheduled, to catch up on what they may have missed during the height of the pandemic, and to address issues that the pandemic might have worsened.

Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:15 AM EDT
28 Community Programs Receive Grants Through Penn Medicine CAREs Program
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine CAREs awarded grants to 28 projects, many of which aim to fill vast needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others seek to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Showing results

110 of 5639

close
3.55745