Oxygen Treatment Hoods prove to save lives in Bolivia and around the world
One critical solution to the global ventilator shortage may be reducing the need for ventilators altogether.
Hood/helmet Positive Airway Pressure (HPAP) is a mode of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) that has been used in Italy and elsewhere for decades to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, and with much success (Ref 1). Recently, Helmet NIV has been used specifically for Covid-19 patients as a proactive step to reduce required intubations and more sophisticated ventilators (Ref 2). Intubating a patient requires an endotracheal tube and a degree of sedation – both are invasive and the patient outcomes are not favorable. Recent reports suggest that mortality once a Covid-19 patient is on a ventilator is very high, perhaps as high as 80% (Ref 3). According to University of Chicago studies, intubations can be reduced by as much as 40% when helmet based ventilation techniques are utilized to proactively (Ref 4).
As part of their Covid-19 response, Subsalve USA of Quonset Rhode Island, a 40-year manufacturer of high performance inflatable products for undersea, defense, and other markets rapidly designed and established high volume production of an OXYGEN TREATMENT HOOD in response to the short supply of existing helmet ventilation devices on the market. At present, Subsalve is recognized as having the highest production capacity for these devices globally, and is ready to deliver in a big way.
Subsalve teamed up with Lombardi Undersea LLC, a diving technology research company, to market the new device. The OXYGEN TREATMENT HOOD technology is historically used for hyperbaric medicine, but are ideally suited for Covid-19 as they allow clinicians to control airway pressure, increase therapeutic oxygen levels, and mitigate virus exposure for healthcare workers. Lombardi’s initiative has garnered support from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and multiple community and industry partners.
Michael Lombardi stated, “we got in this to fight the good fight – I recognized very early that diving technology could make a difference for Covid-19 and felt a social responsibility to do what I could. Covid-19 has presented the perfect storm for our team’s capabilities - we are aggressively supporting emerging research (and development) with multiple partners – this is a serious pandemic and requires decisive solutions.”
The Subsalve and Lombardi team went from concept, to prototyping, to production and significant international distribution within just two months. Evaluation units are in the hands of leading US hospitals including Boston Medical Center, the University of Chicago Medical Center, multiple VA system hospitals, and dozens of others as they eagerly await Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration.
Internationally, the Rhode Island manufactured product is already saving lives. According to Dr. Cesar Vargas from Bolivia,
"After this period of introduction and training of the helmets that involved many many good people as well as to overcoming numerous obstacles, finally we are back on track and ready to continue our mission, the mission of God, to saves lives and bring hope in the midst of the darkness... the helmets that your company [Subsalve USA] produces are fantastic and already saved and continue saving lives in Bolivia, our physicians are more familiar and eager to use the device and share the benefits with other hospitals."
Additionally, a Rhode Island grassroots not for profit initiative called VentilatorProject.org has brought together leaders in the field to develop, characterize, and distribute respiratory equipment to doctors to help treat COVID-19 patients. VentilatorProject has collected a large number of donated CPAP and BiPAP machines commonly used for treating sleep apnea, and have found that they can be paired with Subsalve oxygen hoods to deliver constant pressure and oxygen to patients following the CircumVent protocol. CPAP machines are commonplace around the world. Ocean Opportunity Inc., a Rhode Island based 501(c)3 not for profit organization is sponsoring the project, and additional support has been provided by numerous community donors, the University of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. Data from the project is being collected by researchers at NYU Langone and partner hospitals in four countries.
In the urgent interest of delivering emergent humanitarian aid, Ventilator Project has distributed evaluation kits to doctors in eleven countries, and as of this release, hospitals, provincial governments and federal ministries of health in Haiti, Nicaragua, Indonesia, and Nigeria have requested hundreds of units for use in their hospital systems. Many of these countries do not have widespread ICU ventilation capacity and this HPAP solution presents the most cost effective alternative in the Covid-19 fight that can be distributed at scale.
- Product Landing Page: www.oxygentreatmenthoods.com
- Subsalve USA: www.subsalve.com
- Lombardi Undersea LLC: www.lombardiundersea.com
- Ocean Opportunity Inc.: https://oceanopportunity.com/portfolio/oxygentreatmenthoods
- For community donations, visit Ventilator Project: www.ventilatorproject.org
Media Contact information
- Reference 1: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8134247/Bubble-helmets-used-Italian-doctors-boost-survivalrates.html
- Reference 2: https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/forefront/patient-care-articles/helmet-based-ventilation-is-superior-to-face-mask-for-patients-with-respiratory-distress
- Reference 3: https://www.physiciansweekly.com/mortality-rate-of-covid-19-patients-on-ventilators/
- Reference 4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6005726/
May 6, 2020
NBC 10 Providence |