Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently faced the incompetence and unprofessionalism of the journalists who attacked him because he donated to hospitals bilevel positive airway pressure (biPAP) or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines - devices that can aid breathing and be used for sleep apnea.
Journalists considered it their duty to spread rot for a man who, in their unprofessional opinion, donated hospitals something that was completely unnecessary to them. A little later it turned out that the devices donated by Musk were modernized in such a way as to be ideally suited for the task assigned to them.
Musk even had to defend himself on Twitter from attacks by journalists who, despite all the evidence presented, continued to attack him in their articles.
Before sending ventilators to the hospital, Musk listened to doctors who told him exactly what they needed. At the moment, there is even more evidence that Musk was right in donating biPAP devices to hospitals.
ICU patient Donna Wall is attached to a CPAP machine/Sky News
Sky News reports that doctors at Warrington Hospital, UK, have modified devices known as "black boxes" which usually treat sleep apnoea. The clinicians say 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 they've experienced a far quicker recovery rate.
Dr Mark Forrest told that their small team of seven consultants and their respiratory colleagues quickly realized the ventilators were not the "magic bullet solution" to COVID-19. At the same time, they realized using ventilators - which require a breathing pipe to be inserted down the throat and the patient to be put under anaesthetic - had a relatively poor recovery rate. In some cases it was only 50-50.
This realization was in line with medics across the world who were also finding it was a long and difficult journey to bring COVID-19 patients back to recovery from ventilation - and a journey which often didn't result in survival. The team made an early decision to try to avoid ventilation by switching to CPAP machines. The device keeps the airways continuously open in those patients who are able to breathe on their own but it stops their lungs from collapsing.
UChicago Medicine also reports that doctors see 'truly remarkable' success using ventilator alternatives to treat COVID-19. They used intubal nasal cannulas (HFNC) instead of intubation and ventilators in the treatment of some patients with COVID-19.
A team from UChicago Medicine’s emergency room took dozens of COVID-19 patients who were in respiratory distress and gave them HFNCs instead of putting them on ventilators. The patients all fared extremely well, and only one of them required intubation after 10 days.
High-flow nasal cannulas are non-invasive nasal prongs that sit below the nostrils and blow warm, humidified oxygen into the nose and lungs/UChicago Medicine
Dr. Thomas Spiegel, Medical Director of UChicago's Medicine's Emergency Department, added that, “The proning and the high-flow nasal cannulas combined have brought patient oxygen levels from around 40% to 80% and 90%, so it's been fascinating and wonderful to see.” “Avoiding intubation is key. Most of our colleagues around the city are not doing this, but I sure wish other ERs would take a look at this technique closely,” he says.
Doctors in multiple cities are also moving away from the idea of ventilators for COVID-19 patients. Experts have said that, generally, 40–50% of patients with severe respiratory distress die while on ventilators and 80% or more of coronavirus patients on ventilators in New York City have died. Some health professionals speculate that ventilators could make matters worse in some patients by either starting or worsening a harmful immune system reaction. Dr. Eddy Fan of Toronto General Hospital says that, “We know that mechanical ventilation is not benign. One of the most important findings in the last few decades is that medical ventilation can worsen lung injury - so we have to be careful how we use it.”
In this difficult time, each of us should have good control over what he says, especially journalists who form the public opinion. Musk, who sincerely helps patients and doctors, has undeservedly been the victim of baseless attacks, and not a single publication has yet apologized for this.
Featured image: Joshua Lott | Getty ImagesFollow @EvaFoxU
About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.