The British Prime Minister is “extremely sick” with coronavirus, and a medical expert warns its it most likely he will need a ventilator.
On Monday Boris Johnson was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) as his condition had worsened, Downing Street have announced.
Derek Hill, professor of medical imaging at University College London (UCL) warned that he could be place on a breathing aid called, a continuous positive airway pressure, also known as a CPAP.
The CPAP is less intrusive than a ventilator and bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and being intubated and placed on a ventilator.
The CPAP provides a steady rate of a mix of air and oxygen into the mouth.
Professor Hill warned that most coronavirus patients do “progress to invasive ventilation” which enables people to breathe who are struggling to or cannot.
Professor Hill said, “One of the features of COVID-19 in all countries seems to be that many more men become seriously ill than women, especially in the over 40 age group.
“Also, we know that people under about 60 seem to have a higher chance of making a recovery from critical illness with COVID-19 than older people.
“But there is no doubt this turn of events means Boris Johnson is extremely sick.”
He warned that this highlights three major issues.
“Firstly, many patients need help breathing, and there is a shortage of the mechanical ventilators that can do this, and in particular a shortage of the high-quality intensive care ventilators most suitable for COVID-19 patients who might need help breathing for more than a week.
“Secondly, COVID-19 patients need a huge amount of oxygen to help them breathe, which is potentially going to be in short supply.
“Thirdly, looking after people in intensive care requires skilled staff, and the experience of New York has been that finding enough skilled staff has been the greatest challenge.”
Dr Simon Clarke, a microbiologist, told Sky News, “I’ll say this to you, the NHS, particularly at this moment, doesn’t give up intensive care beds just for people to be looked over, it doesn’t work like that, even for prime ministers.
“He would not be in intensive care unless he needed to be in intensive care, especially not at this time, and I think it’s probably about time that the press people in Number 10 started levelling with us about what his condition really is.”
The NHS website states that ICU’s are, “Specialist hospital wards that provide treatment and monitoring for people who are very ill.”
Adding, “Intensive care is needed if someone is seriously ill and requires intensive treatment and close monitoring, or if they’re having surgery and intensive care, can help them recover.
“Most people in an ICU have problems with one or more organs. For example, they may be unable to breathe on their own.”
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