COVID-19: Joint Statement & Guidance Document on Multiple Patients Per Ventilator

 Published: March 26, 2020

By: Heather Willden


COVID-19 breaking news graphic

The AARC issued a joint statement with various professional medical organizations from across the U.S. this week, addressing the question of placing multiple patients on one ventilator. The consensus statement includes the following organizations:

  • Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM)
  • American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC)
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
  • Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF)
  • American Association of Critical‐Care Nurses (AACN)
  • American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST)

The above‐named organizations advise clinicians that sharing mechanical ventilators should not be attempted because it cannot be done safely with current equipment. Attempting to ventilate multiple patients with COVID‐19, given the issues described here, could lead to poor outcomes and high mortality rates for all patients cohorted. It is better to purpose the ventilator to the patient most likely to benefit than fail to prevent, or even cause, the demise of multiple patients.

Read the Full Statement

To accompany this statement, the AARC developed a new Guidance Document to address SARS CoV-2. The document brings together the current experiences coming from China, Italy and the U.S. (Seattle & New York) along with some commonsense approaches from past lessons learned. These discussions are prompted by the frequent questions we receive by email and phone. Whenever possible, the statements here are supported by the most recent findings.

Review the Guidance Document

Just as caring for your patients is your top priority, caring for AARC members is our top priority. We want you to stay safe and to have the most appropriate information and tools. Be sure to check the site often for the latest updates. The AARC sees the hard work and dedication you devote each day to your communities. Thank you for all you do.


Go to COVID-19 News & Resources.

Email with questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.

Heather Willden

Heather Willden is the Director of Governance and Strategic Initiatives for the AARC where she works with state affiliates as the HOD liaison. She also manages DEI efforts and strategic initiatives. Connect with her about these topics by email, AARConnect or LinkedIn. When she's not working, you can find her podcasting with her husband, exploring new hiking trails, photographing, and spending time with her family.

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