Coronavirus NJ: The Basics of Intubation

Source: Kris Wyss, Facebook

For people who don’t understand what it means to be on a ventilator but want to take the chance on going out or going back to work:

intube2020For starters, it is NOT an oxygen mask that is put over the mouth while the patient comfortably lies down and read journals.

Ventilation for Covid-19 is a tube that goes down your throat painfully and stays there until you live or you die. It’s like being in an artificial coma.

It is done during anesthesia for 2 to 3 weeks without moving, often face down, with a tube deposited from your mouth up to the air pipe and allows you to breathe to the rhythm of the lung machine.

It is completely dependent on finely calculated doses. Teams of nurses, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), and medical assistants (MAs) move your limbs every two hours. You lie on a carpet circulating ice cold liquid to help reduce your 104-degree temperature.

After 20 days of the treatment, young patients can lose 40% of their muscle mass and can traumas or the mouth or vocal cords, as well as possible lung or heart complications. It is for that reason that so many elderly or already weakened people can’t stand treatment and die.

The patient can’t talk or eat or do anything natural: the machine keeps you alive. Discomfort and pain from this means that medical experts must administer sedatives and painkillers to ensure pipe tolerance as long as the machine is needed.

They put a tube in your stomach (either through your nose or skin) for liquid nourishment; bags around your butt to collect diarrhea and urine; an intravenous tube for liquid medication, and an arterial line to monitor your blood pressure.

Your loved ones cannot come to visit — you will be alone in a room with your machine. Or your mother will. Or your father. Or your son or daughter. Or wife or husband.

Stay safe if you don’t want to take the chance to end up here. This is NOT the flu! And you think wearing a mask is uncomfortable, unconstitutional, or humiliating?

The photos above were used with the authorization of the patients or their families.

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