Ventilators: How They Work And Why They're No Panacea For Coronavirus Patients : Short Wave During the pandemic, ventilators have been considered a vital medical tool to treat critically-ill COVID-19 patients. But more and more evidence is suggesting that those who go on a ventilator — don't end up surviving. NPR Science Desk correspondent Jon Hamilton tells us about how these machines work, and how, for patients who do survive, recovery can be a long road.
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The Hard Truth About Ventilators

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The Hard Truth About Ventilators

The Hard Truth About Ventilators

The Hard Truth About Ventilators

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A patient with COVID-19, who is on a ventilator in the isolation room at the National Koranyi Pulmonology Institute of Budapest. Karoly Arvai/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Karoly Arvai/AFP via Getty Images

A patient with COVID-19, who is on a ventilator in the isolation room at the National Koranyi Pulmonology Institute of Budapest.

Karoly Arvai/AFP via Getty Images

During the pandemic, ventilators have been considered a vital medical tool to treat critically-ill COVID-19 patients. But more and more evidence is suggesting that those who go on a ventilator — don't end up surviving. NPR Science Desk correspondent Jon Hamilton tells us about how these machines work, and how, for patients who do survive, recovery can be a long road.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brit Hanson, edited by Viet Le, and fact-checked by Emily Vaughn.