A selfless 65-year-old nurse has changed her will to give up her ventilator in the case that too many people become ill with Covid-19.
Arlene Freyer, from Pittsburgh, retired from her career as a nurse six years ago and has decided to give up her ventilator in the case that hospitals are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
She told KCCI she was worried medical professionals may have to prioritise who gets ventilators if the numbers of cases continue to rise.
“I am willing to give up my ventilator to someone who still has a life to live,” she said on Monday.
Ms Freyer told the outlet that she has underlying medical issues and that if she falls ill will be prioritised for equipment.
“I don’t want to take some college student’s ventilator, I don’t want to take some young mother with four children’s ventilator, I don’t want to take a 70-year-old person’s ventilator who maybe has a disabled child that they’re still caring for. Age doesn’t always have to be a factor with this,” she said.
The 65-year-old said she has changed her living will to reflect her decision and hopes it will save a life and help medical professionals with inevitably tough decisions.
“Common sense tells me our medical professionals are going to have to make some very hard decisions choosing who gets the ventilators and who does not,” Ms Freyer said.
“Why not help our warriors that are on the front line do their job just a little bit easier?”
There has been a desperate shortage of ventilators across the US and worldwide as hospitals struggle to cope with the increasing number of Covid-19 patients in critical condition.
The disease, which often only causes mild symptoms, can lead to serious respiratory complications and can be fatal.
A hospital in New York has been forced to trial placing two patients on ventilators intended for one in a desperate attempt to stretch the use of the lifesaving breathing equipment.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the federal government to send 30,000 ventilators to New York City hospitals.
“You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die,” he said angrily on Tuesday after receiving ventilators for hospitals he said need 30,000. “You want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators? What are we going to do with 400 ventilators?”
On Friday, Donald Trump signed an order requiring General Motors to begin manufacturing ventilators, using his authority under the Defence Production Act.