One of the main problems of the COVID-19 crisis has been the number of ventilators available for patients to use to help them breathe while in hospital beds. New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and President Trump got into arguments over how many ventilators New York was short. Even DIY engineers tried to combat the situation by 3-D printing ventilator parts and giving them to hospitals. Many people were worried about how the decision would be made to give out the rest of the ventilators to some people and not be able to give them to others, essentially saving some people and letting others die.
In a paper published in the journal JAMA about New York State’s largest health system demonstrated that 20% of all those who were hospitalized died, which is a similar statistic to the percentage who die in “normal” times among patients who are admitted for respiratory distress. The most striking statistic though is that 88% percent of the 320 COVID-19 patients on ventilators tracked in the study died. According to previous studies, roughly 80% of patients died on ventilators occurring in situations before the pandemic. The paper also stated that of the patients who died, 57% had hypertension, 41% were obese, and 34% had diabetes which are all risk factors listed by the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention.