Guidelines for Acquisition of Ventilators to Meet Demands for Pandemic Flu and Mass Casualty Incidents   [open pdf - 175KB]

"Following the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax mailings of the same year, the U.S. medical community has undertaken steps to deal with a potential event that could result in a large number of patients requiring mechanical ventilation. More recently, the threat from nature, in the form of the Avian Flu (H5N1), has accelerated preparations for a pandemic flu, which might result in thousands of patients requiring mechanical ventilation. At present, the H5N1 flu remains difficult to transmit from person to person, but mutation of the virus could change this quickly. Reports from Southeast Asia suggest that the virulence of H5N1 results in severe acute respiratory failure (ARF). In the United States, the treatment for ARF is supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation. Thus we can expect a surge in demand for ventilators if a pandemic of H5N1 were to occur. In the wake of a pandemic flu with a virulent flu strain like H5N1, patients with survivable illness will die from lack of resources unless more ventilators that have the capabilities to provide ventilatory support for patients with ARF are readily available."

2006 American Association for Respiratory Care
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American Association of Respiratory Care: http://www.aarc.org/
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