The need for ventilators at U.S. hospitals has been well-documented, but what if nursing homes—which have roughly 8,200 of the devices at their disposal—could come to the rescue?
State officials are working to consolidate ventilators where they are most urgently needed. But so far, the supply in nursing homes has not drawn the same attention. Or course, commandeering those units would set up a monumental ethical dilemma: Do you remove life support for a long-term nursing care patient in order to give a COVID-19 patient a better chance of survival?
The highest number of machines, about 2,300, is in California, where the state has created designated nursing home units for people on life support, officially called subacute units but known pejoratively by some doctors as “vent farms.” New York has the second most, 1,822, according to state officials.
Read the full article on Kaiser Health News.