What's especially horrifying about the critical care of coronavirus patients is that they aren't suffering from "viral pneumonia," but rather from an inability to absorb or carry oxygen in the blood.
This has been confirmed by NYC ICU emergency physician Cameron Kyle-Sidell, who has released several videos detailing how coronavirus is not a kind of viral pneumonia. "We're treating the wrong disease," he says. And the ventilators are damaging the lungs of patients. He explains:
COVID-19 lung disease, as far as I can see, is not a pneumonia and should not be treated as one. Rather, it appears as if some kind of viral-induced disease most resembling high altitude sickness. Is it as if tens of thousands of my fellow New Yorkers are on a plane at 30,000 feet at the cabin pressure is slowly being let out. These patients are slowly being starved of oxygen.
What this emergency room physician makes clear is that coronavirus patients are dying from oxygen deprivation, not a classic scenario of viral pneumonia. The patients' lungs work fine, in other words, and the ventilators are actually damaging their lungs by forcing excessive pressure into them.
How does blood transport oxygen in the first place?
How, exactly, can all these patients be starved of oxygen when their lungs are technically working just fine? To understand one possible answer, you have to first understand how the blood carries oxygen. It's way more fascinating than you might have supposed.