Thinking about pneumonia as the cause of death for COVID-19 victims, it seems natural to wonder - why not fight fluid with fluid?

Breathing in oxygen through liquid is possible. Although it seems more research is needed to determine its effectiveness as a treatment.

Examples of medical research on liquid ventilation:

Liquid ventilation (2014)

Initial experience with partial liquid ventilation in adult patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (1996)

Although it is most likely too late to deploy liquid ventilation to combat the present pandemic, is there evidence that indicates liquid ventilation could be a more effective treatment for pneumonia than traditional ventilation?

There is a lot of interesting information in the 2014 paper, but I don't have the backgroung to know how to interpret the findings and compare the effectiveness to traditional ventilation. That's why I ask.

1 Answer 1


The latest data on using Partial Liquid Ventilation (Total Liquid Ventilation has been shown to be unsustainable) was from a 1996 study

Hirschl et al. treated 10 adults who had acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and reported a decrease in the physiologic shunt and an increase in pulmonary compliance; 50% of the patients survived in their study. Based on their clinical experiences, they concluded that PLV may be associated with observed improvements in gas exchange and pulmonary compliance.[15]

There is no data on the use of PLV in adults with ARDS from Covid-19, and the use of PLV in that very tiny study doesn't seem to offer any advantage over standard ventilation in terms of survival.


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