Cuomo Asks Medical Offices for Vital Ventilators to Fight the “War” on Coronavirus
By Neil A. Carousso
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Concern is growing over equipment shortages in hospitals.
“Ventilators are to this war what missiles were to World War II,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo Friday morning.
Cuomo says New York State urgently needs 30,000 ventilators to treat the rising number of coronavirus cases and is asking medical offices to sell unused medical supplies to the State Health Department. He has also called on the federal government to act to get thousands more ventilators in hospitals nationwide.
“Rosie the Rivertor. We need ventilators. That is the key piece of equipment. We can get the beds. We’ll get the supplies, but the ventilator is a specific piece of equipment. These are people with respiratory illnesses,” Cuomo pleaded.
Companies who are able to sell unused medical supplies can call (646) 522-8477 or email COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov.
“At the end of this when patients are suffering from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and respiratory failure that can occur, the only way to keep them alive is to get them on a ventilator and support their respiratory system that way,” said Dr. Brian Bezack, a pediatric pulmonologist based in Commack, Long Island. “As more people are getting tested and more people are getting sick with the virus as it spreads, those more severe cases are the ones that end up in our ICUs and the ones that need the ventilators and we need to have them on hand.”
This is Dr. Bezack’s busy season when children suffering with asthma come in with serious respiratory symptoms exacerbated by the cold air. The past few weeks, he has been inundated with questions based on misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and how it impacts asthmatics.
“I had a patient call me the other day and say, ‘You know, I’ve been reading about asthma, and since my child is on steroids, steroids are not good and it lowers your immune system, and so, I want to take them off their asthma medication,’” Dr. Bezack recalled. “To me, that was probably the most dangerous thing I had heard.”
He emphasized inhaled steroids do not lower one’s immune system. The biggest way for people who have asthma to fight coronavirus or any respiratory illness, Dr. Bezack said, is to have as close to 100 percent control over one’s asthma.