A new non-invasive ventilation mask has been developed by Lawson Health Research Institute and other health centers in Canada that significantly reduces the risk of infection in treating COVID-19 patients and would also lower the demand for expensive ventilators.
The innovative mask reduces aerosolization, the spreading of tiny respiratory droplets that might carry viruses or bacteria into the air infecting other people, and therefore would limit the spread of COVID-19 from patients to healthcare workers.
According to Lawson Health Research Institute, COVID-19 patients using CPAP — continuous positive airway pressure — devices to help them breathe, currently release these droplets into the air. While this treatment is much less invasive than ventilation that requires intubation, it does pose a health risk for hospital workers.
The Canadian team redesigned a standard firefighter's mask using 3-D printing to create a tightly sealed mask with a filter that traps any viral particles before they are released into the air. The mask can attach to any CPAP or BiPap machine, which is a bi-level positive airway pressure device. When the patient breathes into the mask, the filter safely captures infectious viral particles.
"There are countless CPAP and BiPap machines idling around the world while all the resources go towards invasive ventilation," said Dr. Azad Mashari, one of the creators of the mask. "Our mask aims to put these machines back into the clinician's toolkit. By eliminating air leaks, we can improve patient safety and significantly reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 for healthcare workers and other patients."
The mask is currently being tested through a clinical trial at London Health Sciences Centre in Ontario, Canada.
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