Officials say getting more ventilators could be a matter of life and death before COVID-19 reaches its apex in New York City. And some medical professionals are doing what they can to donate their resources.
"We're all trying to do our part in the medical community to help those in need," said Dr. Gary Linkov, the founder and Medical Director of City Facial Plastics in Manhattan.
The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities reached out to its members, asking for them to donate their anesthesia machines to be used as ventilators.
Linkov can't do plastic surgery right now since those elective surgeries are banned right now due to the coronavirus crisis, so he is trying to donate his facility's anesthesia machine to serve as a ventilator.
"This idea was introduced, which was taking these dormant machines and really using them and trying to save lives with them," Linkov said.
And he says the anesthesia machines can really help.
"They help the patient breathe. You can be as awake or asleep on both of them. The idea is, when people are getting COVID-19 and developing a more severe form, it's affecting their lungs where they may not be able to breathe well on their own," Linkov said.
There are some differences between anesthesia machines and ventilators, but Linkov says the benefits outweigh the concerns.
"Medical ventilators are meant to be used days, even weeks at a time. They are definitely constructed differently. Anethesia machines requires maintenance at least every 24 hours," Linkov said.
Sources close to NY1 say New York Presbyterian Hospital may be in the process of doing this. We reached out to them to see if they have started repurposing anesthesia machines and have not heard back.