Recently, Mammoth Hospital was referenced in a few national news stories as having received 10 “ventilators” from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Just to clear up any confusion, here is a quick 101 on ventilators:
Ventilators, the kind we’ve all been hearing about on the news, sometimes referred to as invasive ventilators, are used for patients with severe respiratory disease who cannot breathe on their own. A patient must be intubated (a tube is inserted into the airway) to be placed on an invasive ventilator. Invasive ventilators are extremely specialized pieces of medical equipment and can cost between $20,000 and $50,000.
Mammoth Hospital currently has six invasive ventilators in house. We recently received a generous donation of 10 BiPAP machines from Musk, for which we are very grateful. A BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machine is indeed a type of ventilator, but not the type typically referred to with that term. It is sometimes referred to as a non-invasive ventilator. A BiPAP machine uses a mask or nasal plugs, which are connected to the non-invasive ventilator, to supply pressurized air into a patient’s airways. BiPAP machines are used for patients with moderate respiratory disease. BiPAP machines are not recommended for use in treating patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which can occur in patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
We hope this clears up any confusion about what our ventilator capacities are at Mammoth Hospital. We want to remind everyone that no matter how many ventilators we have it is important that we all continue to WASH – COVER – DISTANCE to protect ourselves and others.