The US government's Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released a Federal contract today to track ,in real time, the nationwide use of advance life support lung ventilation equipment. Below is a quote from that solicitation that explains ASPR's need/rationale.
From Solicitation Number: 13-100-SOL-00023:
" This requirement is intended to help to help inform senior USG leadership decision-making, leverage private-sector knowledge without being intrusive, build situational awareness to inform rumour control, and identify surge and preparedness strategies..... US-CIITG's unique capability is of particular importance when assessing ventilator capacities during potential influenza outbreaks."A shortage of ventilators will likely be the first PUBLIC sign that the expected H7N9 pandemic is in progress. Delaying the Public's knowledge of overflowing intensive care units provides a key time based logistical advantage for health authorities to enact quarantines, and to place controls on critical supplies and infrastructure that a concerned public may rush out to buy or overwhelm.
Under such conditions, the first indication that observant medical staff may notice is that hospital administrators are attempting to level load ventilator usage across a city's or region's available bed space. Regional level loading of available ventilators serves to disguise the number of patients in need of ventilators.
Ventilators usage is a key item to track because:
(1) Nearly 100% of ADULTS presenting with H7N9 infections will die without a lung ventilator.
(2) The supply / availability of ventilators is VERY limited.
(3) A shortage of ventilators may induce public panic.
To understand the Government's need/desire to control knowledge and information in a pandemic situation we recommend watching the movie "CONTAGION". We're not alone in this recommendation as the movie has been used as training material in recent Avian Flu Federal Disaster drills. The movie has only so-so entertainment value but it was basically written as a propaganda movie for / by the CDC seeking to up its budget. As such, the movie gives very good insight into the CDC's techniques and desires under a scenario they believe shows them in a good light.
We include an Amazon link to the movie; HOWEVER, as Missouri residents we make ZERO money from your rental or purchase of this video from Amazon. As always has been the case, we give links to inform.