Can Humans Use Ventilators Made for Animals?

With a shortage of ventilators looming, the equipment could be hiding in veterinarian offices, among other places.

The urgent need for ventilators to treat coronavirus patients in the United States is already being answered by an unlikely source — veterinarians.

It turns out, the same machine that can keep animals breathing during surgery can also work on humans.

Veterinarian Dr. Timnah Lee said veterinary practices around the country are already donating their ventilators to the crisis, and that many of them are actually human grade.

"The vents we use come from human hospitals anyway," Lee said.

Another source of ventilators could be plastic surgeons, who often have ventilators in their offices for elective cosmetic procedures, such as breast implants nose jobs.

"You have life-saving equipment in your operating rooms not being used," New York plastic surgeon Yael Hallas told Inside Edition. "Get them into the hands of those who can use them. We need to save lives."