What are the best alternatives to invasive ventilators for COVID patients?

Patients with COVID seem to have a different clinical picture from other forms of ARDS—they seem to be able to tolerate hypoxia much better.

Alternatives to mechanical ventilation like high-flow nasal cannula, non-invasive ventilation, prone positioning may be enough to support some COVID patients. The WHO recommends mechanical ventilation of COVID patients who have severe respiratory failure when standard therapy fails, but in low-resource settings, ventilators may not be available.

Non-invasive ventilation such as high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) or a non-rebreathing mask are easily tolerated and can be combined with prone positioning to maximize oxygen delivery. Clinics must be able to guarantee the necessary power and equipment, including a reliable source of oxygen and masks, cannula, and other supplies.

The role of CPAP and BiPAP is less clear-although they may be helpful, they could also be a source of aerosolized virus. Splitting ventilators is not recommended. Ethical use of resources is recommended when supplies are scarce. You can also see our post on setting up oxygen in a clinic.


Do not split ventilators between patients. Monitor patients’ oxygen levels and fatigue regularly.


These are the TOP resources that our team found

To leave a comment about one of the resource links below, or to leave a comment about this page, please use the commenting form found at the bottom of the page. All comments are only visible to members of our staff and do not appear publicly. You can also upvote a link by clicking on the thumbs-up icon next to it.


OTHER RESOURCES

To leave a comment about one of the resource links below, or to leave a comment about this page, please use the commenting form found at the bottom of the page. All comments are only visible to members of our staff and do not appear publicly. You can also upvote a link by clicking on the thumbs-up icon next to it.

Ventilator Alternatives – OTHER (7)


Sources Searched: WHO research database, CDC website, and relevant citations within those resources

Search Terms: ventilator alternatives, oxygen, respiratory support, COVID

Research on coronavirus and COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. This page reflects evidence collected up to May 29, 2020.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.