The main challenges
The main problem with Covid-19 is the severe breathing disorder it generates, which requires assisted ventilation and as a result, saturates bed availability in ICUs. Before the crisis, Madrid had about 400 ICU beds. Therefore, the first measures were focused on increasing the supply for ICU respirators due to the shortage caused by the high global demand.
20% of patients infected by the coronavirus have a significant pulmonary alteration that requires hospitalization. Of these, a large number end up with respiratory failure, which requires ventilatory support.
Given the high demand for ICU beds, in this extraordinary circumstance, more resources are required to be able to treat all patients.
Hospitals and communities are calling for artificial ventilation equipment in waves. However, there is no stock.
For this reason, hospitals are trying to optimize the use of respirators in ICUs, limiting their use to older patients or those with a lower probability of survival in order to avoid ICU collapse (El Confidencial).
New York City alone has already estimated that it will need more than 30,000 respirators to cope with the expected influx of sick people.