Tesla sent non-invasive ventilators to hospitals under Wuhan Doctors' advisory. In recent weeks, Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk were bashed for sending non-invasive ventilators to hospitals experiencing rising cases of patients who contracted the C-19 virus. Recent studies and observations by physicians on the field may have revealed that Tesla and Elon Musk were right about non-invasive ventilators.
According to a new treatment guidelines for C-19 issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), physicians were encouraged to rely less on ventilators when treating patients who have tested positive with the virus. The guidelines seem to consider the disadvantages of putting C-19 patients on ventilators before trying milder forms of treatment. An analysis published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) supported NIH's new treatment guidelines.
The NIH's new treatment guidelines may have definitively answered the debate between the use of invasive vs. non-invasive ventilators to treat C-19 patients, which were sparked by Tesla and Elon Musk's donations to hospitals. About a week ago, multiple media outlets reported that Tesla and Elon Musk never delivered on their promise to send ventilators to hospitals or medical institutions that needed them.
When evidence emerged that Tesla had sent ventilators to hospitals, the media outlets switched narratives. They claimed that Tesla only sent non-invasive machines which they deemed useless in treating C-19 patients.
When I talked to doctors in Wuhan, they recommended against invasive ventilators & in favor of non-invasive— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 22, 2020
Recently, Elon Musk shared that Wuhan doctors favored non-invasive ventilators and recommended against using invasive ventilators when he talked to them. The information Musk shared via Twitter revealed the following: 1) the Tesla CEO did his research before sending ventilators, and 2) non-invasive ventilators are what physicians prefer and may need the most when treating severe C-19 patients.
Invasive vs Non-Invasive Ventilators
Physicians prefer non-invasive ventilators because invasive procedures and treatments tend to yield more risks and complications. So another rule of thumb for health care professionals would be to minimize or avoid invasive procedures and treatments as much as possible. If prevention is the first rule for doctors, then avoiding invasive forms of treatments and procedures is the second.
In relation to the current pandemic, New York City emergency-medicine physician, Dr. Cameron Kyle-Sidell, hypothesized that doctors may be treating C-19 patients incorrectly.
"We are operating under a medical paradigm that is untrue," Dr. Kyle-Sidell told Time. "I believe we are treating the wrong disease, and I fear that this misguided treatment will lead to a tremendous amount of harm to a great number of people in a very short time."
Kyle-Sidell theorized that C-19 patients might be experiencing a different type of lung damage, which may not be treated by mechanical ventilation—non-invasive or otherwise. Doctors are treating patients under the premise that the virus causes acute respiratory distress syndrome, but Kyle-Sidell refuted the diagnosis and its subsequent recommended treatment based on his observations.
Numbers I was told from Wuhan were 80% to 90% mortality rate for invasive ventilators. Those are not good odds.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 22, 2020
The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine published a letter by a group of European physicians who seemed to agree with Kyle-Sidell's findings. Based on the New York physician's observations, C-19 patients may not need invasive ventilators for every patient, but non-invasive ventilators would still be necessary for certain cases.
Featured Image Credit: @NYCHealthSystem/Twitter
About the Author
Ma. Claribelle Deveza
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.