By Alyssa Petroni, nurse, Loyola University Medical Center
Here you go folks… for those people who don’t understand what it means to be on a ventilator but want to take the chance of going out without a mask…
For starters, it’s NOT an oxygen mask put over the mouth while the patient is comfortably lying down and reading magazines. Ventilation for Covid-19 is a painful intubation that goes down your throat and stays there until you live or you die.
It is done under anesthesia for 2 to 3 weeks without moving, often upside down, with a tube inserted from the mouth up to the trachea and allows you to breathe to the rhythm of the lung machine. The patient can’t talk or eat, or do anything naturally – the machine keeps you alive.
The discomfort and pain they feel from this means medical experts have to administer sedatives and painkillers to ensure tube tolerance for as long as the machine is needed. It’s like being in an artificial coma.
After 20 days from this treatment, a young patient loses 40% muscle mass, and gets mouth or vocal cords trauma, as well as possible pulmonary or heart complications.
It is for this reason that old or already weak people can’t withstand the treatment and die. Many of us are in this boat … so stay safe unless you want to take the chance of ending up here. This is NOT the flu.
Add a tube into your stomach, either through your nose or skin for liquid food, a sticky bag around your butt to collect the diarrhea, a foley catheter to collect urine, an IV for fluids and meds, an A-line f to monitor your BP that is completely dependent upon finely calculated med doses, teams of nurses, CRNA’s and MA’s to reposition your limbs every two hours and lying on a mat that circulates ice cold fluid to help bring down your 104 degree temp.
-Anyone want to try all that out? Stay home and wear a mask when you go out! Stay safe and well!-
What this article doesn’t say, is that the patient can hear everything that is said so if the staff carelessly talks about death, the patient panics. If the sedatives are lessened, the patient panics because he can’t breath or talk or, in his case, move. When they begin to lower the pain medications, the patient screams in his head but can’t make a sound. When they take out the tubes it’s extremely uncomfortable. A trachea may replace the respirator, the patient still can’t talk or eat without a tube.
Your child, your spouse, your parent, suffers from covid 19 alone in the hospital. The victims are not limited to strangers. When you choose to crowd, unmasked, into newly opened stores for some irrelevant purchase, ask yourself if it’s worth a lifetime of knowing your child suffered, maybe died, alone.