Mr. Trudeau: Act NOW to put ventilators in hospitals to help avoid deaths due to COVID-19

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Ventilators assist or replace respiratory functions, pumping oxygen into the blood needed for vital organs. They are the main supportive treatment for patients in the critical stage of COVID-19.

Ventilators are key to preventing coronavirus death.

Italy and Germany are clamouring for more ventilators to treat severe cases of the illness. Italy recently issued a tender for an additional 5,000 ventilators.

Britain has asked companies including Ford, Honda and Rolls Royce to help make health equipment, including ventilators.

It is clear that Canada does not have enough ventilators to deal with the outbreak. It's time for Canada to act like we are at war.  We need existing ventilator producers to increase production, and other industry to start producing ventilators.  And then we need to get them into Canadian hospitals ASAP.

The percentage of those infected with COVID-19 that die will decrease with more ventilator availability. 

Background on how ventilators save lives in the case of pneumonia, from COVID-19:

When people with COVID-19 develop a cough and fever, the infection reaches  the air passages that conduct air between the lungs and the outside. If the infection proceeds, the lungs become filled with inflammatory material and are unable to get enough oxygen to the bloodstream, reducing the body’s ability to take on oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. That’s the usual cause of death with severe pneumonia, from COVID-19. There is no direct treatment, only supportive treatment, which is what people are given in intensive care. The patients are ventilated to maintain high oxygen levels until their lungs are able to function in a normal way again as they recover. Without the help of a ventilator its very hard to recover.