Hey guys, I’ve got an important update – some bad news, and some good news about our initiative in Bulgaria.
Dr. Alexander Simidchiev, a pulmonologist, just called me. He is one of the people who has been advising and supporting us very strongly in the past week. He told me that today he received new piece of information after talking to professor Oleg Hinkov who is one of the most prominent experts in the field.
In brief, even if we are successful in building and producing enough ventilators, it won’t help. The reason is that in Bulgaria there are 1400 ventilators and only 100 specialists that are capable of running these machines and the respective treatment of patients in a proper way.
Apparently anaesthesiologist-reanimators who can work with the ventilators have a different profile from the respective intensivists who are the doctors who have to take care about the recovery of (COVID) patients in critical state.
I won’t go into all the details, but he said that even if we are able to produce (or the government buys) enough ventilators, this won’t help. In fact more ventilators would worsen the problem, as incompetent doctors will have to work with them. He said that the potential detriment is far worse than the absence of respirators.
Now, the good news. We can still address the problem. Dr. Simidchiev suggested that we can focus on machines for oxygen therapy instead. He said that it would make more sense to make ordinary oxygen masks available to a wider number of people and hospitals.
So, I propose that we still continue our initiative with building ventilators, as countries around the world will still need them, but probably in Bulgaira we’ll have to pivot a bit. I’ll do some more research and get back to all of you.
P.S. This is professor Oleg Hinkov who was also consulted on the topic: