Our team identified that ICU ventilator capacity in South Africa was constrained by the availability of skilled ICU staff and traditional mechanical ventilators. Supplying additional ICU ventilators were unlikely to adequately respond to the anticipated increase in demand required to treat patients due to COVID-19.
Our goal was to design non-invasive ventilation solutions that could be used by general nursing staff. This would increase treatment options and capacity for patients.
Current research is highlighting the importance of providing early and additional respiratory treatment options such as CPAP and BiPAP, rather than the patient continues to deteriorate until they became critically ill needing sedation in ICU with invasive ventilation.
The goal is to treat hypoxia early and break the inflammatory cycle and lung damage which ultimately could save lives due to the scarcity of treatment options and the generally poor outcomes if the disease progresses to that advanced stage.