I just called bullshit on a CBS report about a Billings hospital’s ICU unit being at 150% of capacity. (TL;DR: it isn’t out of ICU beds or ventilators.) But another item in the story grabbed my attention as well.
Frank Miller, 59, was hospitalized with COVID-19 more than two weeks ago. The unvaccinated engineer spent more than a week on a ventilator.
“I struggled with it, being on a ventilator,” he said, adding he was “scared out of my mind.”
Why was he conscious to be afraid of it? Why did he struggle with ventilation?
According to a former ICU nurse, people put on ventilators are usually sedated and given a paralytic so 1) they are not conscious and 2) cannot struggle and fight the ventilator. Gnerally, the ones who don’t need sedation and the paralytic are the ones dying anyway; they’re just waiting on brain death. Most often, they are being kept “alive” (for some values of the word) by families who can’t give up hope, or the body is being kept alive for potential organ harvesting.
There’s something very, very wrong about a man conscious and fighting the vent. Almost… as if he didn’t need ventilation. Almost… as if the hospital ventilated him because they get a bonus from CMS.
Almost… as if it were greed, not medical necessity.
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