Tues, Apr 14, 2020:
Governors are spending maximal effort procuring ventilators. But new research shows different results. Leaders may want to switch effort to blood substitutes, after conferring with front-line doctors/experts. That is, stop stockpiling ventilators, and get as much artificial blood as possible. Reasons are complex:
Doctors seeing patients with very low blood oxygen call this ARDS and assume that the lungs are not working well, while the blood hemoglobin and brain breathing-functions should be fine. They traditionally treat this with ventilator use to force air into the lungs, in order to save delicate brain & liver tissue requiring oxygen. Next they often induce a coma in order to keep the patient from clawing the ventilator tube out of their throat. Then, when the blood oxygen level is still obscenely low, they crank up the pressure in an attempt to force more oxygen in.
This has been resulting in 50%-80% deaths in ventilator patients, depending on the facility. The high pressure seems to blow out the lungs. And surviving sedated patients often have brain damage.
But front-line doctors are seeing several anomalies. Lung condition appears strong, not weak. People with bad lungs and low oxygen should have trouble getting rid of CO2; they should be gasping; their hearts should be racing; and they should almost be blacking out. The body has CO2 sensors, not O2 sensors, that kick in these range of reflexes when lungs are not working well to get rid of CO2. None of these are happening. The lungs are getting rid of CO2 well, indicating the lungs are working well. So typical ARDS protocols are not appropriate.reference
But it turns out COVID-19 is a multi-talented supervirus. Not only does it attack sinuses, throat, lungs, and smell-center nerves; it is possible that it may also attack red blood cells and nerve centers that help control breathing. In particular one theory, which has problems, hypothesizes that the virus may somehow throw the iron out of hemoglobin. So this would stop the hemoglobin from binding oxygen, and also would also explain the excess poisonous iron loose in the body-- which would give the famous "ground glass" images in the lung X-rays. So when blood stops grabbing oxygen, the body breaks down rapidly, even when the lungs still work. There are problems with explaining just exactly how this is happening, but the overall reasoning explains many different effects.
The conclusions from this line of reasoning are several: