Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) breathing aids developed by UK engineers and clinicians for use during the COVID-19 pandemic have been delivered to 46 NHS hospitals across the country.
The University College London (UCL)-Ventura breathing aid, a low-flow CPAP device, is being deployed to treat patients with COVID-19 in hospitals across the UK, including London, Belfast, Glasgow, Hull, Newcastle, Liverpool, Prescot, Blackburn, Manchester, Macclesfield, Norwich, King’s Lynn, Northampton, Birmingham, Bedford, north Devon, Southampton, Jersey and Montserrat.
CPAP devices were used extensively in China and Italy to help patients with COVID-19 breathe more easily, but were in short supply in UK hospitals, so engineers at UCL and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains worked within a rapid time frame to reverse engineer a device that could be manufactured quickly by the thousands.
Mark II of the flow device, now being used in NHS hospitals, is much more efficient in terms of oxygen use than the first model, using up to 70 per cent less - which is crucial given concerns over some hospitals’ oxygen supply.
The UCL-Ventura CPAP device underwent patient evaluations at UCL Hospital (UCLH) and sister hospitals in the London area and is also a part of the RECOVERY-RS research trial, which is comparing respiratory strategies for patients with COVID-19.
UCLH critical care consultant Prof Mervyn Singer said: “Deployed across the NHS hospital network, this device will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a precious resource, are used only for the most severely ill."
“We and others are finding that a significant proportion of patients treated with CPAP can avoid mechanical ventilation and recover more quickly as a result."
The CPAP devices are being delivered to hospitals across England, the devolved nations and crown dependencies in line with demand, and NHS staff can request the devices for their hospitals at no cost to assist management of patients during possible future surges