By Tony Winterburn • 24 April 2020 • 7:34
A HOSPITAL in Cheshire seems to have cut mortality rates and improved the chances of a quick recovery from the virus by adapting breathing machines normally used for a sleeping disorder. A team of doctors at Warrington Hospital have modified the devices known as ‘black boxes’ which usually treat sleep apnea, a common condition which means breathing stops and starts while sleeping.
Health practitioners found that by treating Covid-19 patients early with their ‘black boxes,’ it has meant there has been less need for the more intrusive and invasive ventilators and give patients a far quicker recovery rate. The Sleep Apnea machines are also much cheaper than the ventilators used at the moment starting at around €295 for a home version and €650 for an up-market model.
One of the hospital’s consultants said they had started from “ground zero” in how to manage the pandemic in the area, Dr Mark Forrest said: “We watched very closely what was happening in other countries, in particular Italy, and learned from them.”
The hospital normally has access to only 12 ITU (intensive therapy unit) ventilators, news of this discovery is spreading quickly through the country and other hospitals are willing to try this treatment now.
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