Oregon is sending 140 life-saving ventilators from its state stockpile to assist in the COVID-19 relief efforts in hard-hit New York state, which has seen more than 113,000 confirmed cases and 3,565 deaths.
Oregon, on the other hand, has seen fewer than 1,000 cases and only 26 deaths as of this morning.
“We’ll be sending 140 ventilators to help NY because Oregon is in a better position right now,” Governor Kate Brown said in her tweet announcing the decision Saturday. “We must do all that we can to help those on the front lines of this response.”
New York needs more ventilators, and we are answering their call for help. We’ll be sending 140 ventilators to help NY because Oregon is in a better position right now. We must do all that we can to help those on the front lines of this response.
In a follow-up tweet, Brown admitted her state is still lacking in the personal protective equipment, or PPE, and testing capacity we need to address our own COVID crisis, but “we can help today with ventilators. We are all in this together.”
The majority of COVID-19 cases are mild. But for those that are more serious, the inflammation from the virus can cause a condition called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, which results in the lining of the patient’s lungs being smothered.
It’s essentially a form of drowning.
For those suffering from ARDS, the one hope for saving their lives is a mechanical ventilator that forces oxygen into the body. Ventilators don’t cure COVID-19, but they can keep patients alive long enough for their immune system to defeat the virus.
New York, the hardest-hit state in the country thus far, is also receiving 1,000 ventilators from the Chinese government this weekend, as cases continue to climb. Without more of the life-saving breathing machines, Governor Andrew Cuomo estimated his state’s death toll could reach 16,000.
Governor Cuomo expressed gratitude in response to Oregon’s gesture of kindness.
“From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” he tweeted. “(New York state) will repay the favor when Oregon needs it.”
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