by Greg Piper at justthenews.com
Bacterial infections associated with ventilators may have caused most of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 among intubated patients, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases that reinforces ongoing scrutiny of early treatment protocols and official COVID death figures.
The findings could help explain why New York City, where ventilators were heavily used early in the pandemic, experienced a dramatic spike in COVID mortality even among non-elderly people that wasn’t seen in areas with similar demographics and climate.
The Big Apple went so far as splitting ventilators between patients amid a perceived shortage despite the known risks of lung injury from single-user devices delivering too much or too little oxygen to each shared patient.
Northwestern University researchers used machine learning on medical record data to study the trajectory of nearly 600 “mechanically ventilated patients with severe pneumonia and respiratory failure” in the university hospital’s ICU, The Journal of Clinical Investigation paper states. A third tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
They found “high rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia” in the COVID patients, “suggesting that bacterial super-infections such as VAP may contribute to mortality” credited to COVID, whose “relatively low mortality rate” would be “offset by a greater risk of death attributable to unresolving VAP.”
“If unresolving episodes of VAP rather than the primary viral pneumonia contribute to mortality in a substantial fraction of patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, it might explain why therapies that attenuate the host response … are more effective when administered early in the clinical course, before patients are intubated and at risk for VAP,” the paper concludes.
Wrongly attributing deaths from secondary infections to SARS-CoV-2 would further undermine the reliability of the official COVID death toll. Oregon lawmakers are seeking a federal grand jury investigation of death certificate protocols designed specifically for COVID.
Massachusetts law student John Beaudoin sued the state last summer for allegedly sending “fraudulent” COVID death data to the feds, whose resulting guidance was used by his private school to develop vaccine mandates he refused to follow.
Commonwealth officials filed a motion to dismiss in March, and Beaudoin, representing himself, belatedly filed a motion for oral argument last week.