20-50% of COVID patients can avoid intubation using a CPAP Helmet
While 80% of people infected with the SARS CoV-19 virus have none to mild symptoms, the 5-20% of people more severely affected by the virus need some form of respiratory support.
Currently in North America, patients requiring more than just nasal cannula oxygen are intubated (placed on a breathing tube). This has issues - it is an aerosol infection risk for providers (requiring more protective equipment), it requires a ventilator, large quantities of sedative drugs, and intensive nursing care - all in short supply right now. Only 20% of patients ultimately survive intubation.
Increasing evidence from Italy, Spain, and NYC shows 20-50% of these more severe patients can avoid intubation using CPAP or high flow oxygen. These treatments are currently avoided because they generate even more aerosol infection risk. They are uncomfortable, and patients rarely tolerate them.
The CPAP Helmet delivers positive pressure, up to 100% oxygen, and contains infection risk with a viral filter.
It is easy to apply and use, comfortable for patients, and effective.
The respiratory hood/helmet device has been used effectively in Europe for more than 30 years, and has been a mainstay for treatment of patients in Italy's COVID crisis.
Use is as simple as pulling open the neck seal, and placing over a patient's head. Very few patients find it claustrophobic, and it is comfortable enough to sleep in.
It has most use in rural hospitals, where the single doctor and 2-3 nurses will be quickly overwhelmed with even one intubated patient.
It protects everyone in the facility from infection risk, including EMS personnel locked in an ambulance with a positive patient for several hours of transport.
Every patient improves some, at least temporarily. Some will stabilize and improve. Others will continue to decline, and are then treated in the conventional way by removing the helmet and intubating.
A helmet is also useful for patients that would otherwise not want intubation. Rather than spend their last hours sedated, they can interact with loved ones.
US and Italian manufacturers are saturated
These hoods have been used in North America primarily for hyperbaric oxygen - a small market. Sea-Long and Amron, along with a few new manufacturers are substantially increasing production, but are unable to keep up with the massive increase in demand in just the USA.
See www.helmetbasedventilation.com for more information on helmets.
If we want CPAP Helmets available in Canada for this crisis, we need to manufacture our own, at least for the short term.
I have been working for 4 weeks with Tom Vermeeren, from Gemma Plastics in Edmonton, Alberta, to develop a locally manufactured version of this helmet system. We have received Health Canada approval, and are ready to move into manufacturing.
Manufacturing requires funding for materials.
To date prototyping has been funded out of pocket and with a generous donation by the South Calgary Urgent Care Physician Association.
The plan is to produce at least 200 helmets over the next month for approximately $100 materials cost each (US versions sell for USD$159 and up), for a total of $20000. It will help significantly if we can include the connections and fittings for use with each helmet, at $22 per helmet, for a total of $4400.
Any amount of funding helps - we will manufacture these until we run out of money for supplies or the need for them resolves. Any helmets not needed in Alberta will be shipped across Canada to help other areas.
Thank you for helping.
DonationsSee top donations
- Diane Hallinen
- Scott Loree
- Francis X Gentile
- Raj Kumar
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more