The second world war offers a possible blueprint for confronting the ventilator challenge.
If COVID-19 causes a ventilator shortage in hospitals, triage protocols will dictate who gets life-saving treatment. Health-care workers need protection from liability for following those protocols.
Mechanical ventilators are often used in life and death situations, treating patients with pneumonia, brain injury and stroke. One mechanical ventilator can cost up to A$82,000.