AdvaMed touts use of noninvasive ventilators to treat COVID-19

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Source: MassDevice

AdvaMed is promoting clinical evidence that it says reveals the benefits of non-invasive ventilators for use in less severe cases of COVID-19-related respiratory issues.

A series of white papers, published evidence and case studies from China and Italy concluded that coronavirus patients with respiratory distress less severe than other cases could receive treatment with the non-invasive ventilation therapy, freeing more invasive ventilator devices for the most critically ill patients amid a shortage of equipment.

“This could be a game-changer in the race to get as many ventilators in the hospitals as we possibly can,” AdvaMed president & CEO Scott Whitaker said in a news release. “A large majority of COVID patients could benefit from these respiratory devices, easing pressure on our critical care system in hospitals and offering another lifesaving option for tens of thousands of people suffering from respiratory problems.”

Non-invasive ventilation involves air delivery to the patient through a mask or mouthpiece, rather than the inserted tubes used for invasive ventilation. Many governing bodies around the world are issuing guidance related to ventilator alternatives, such as non-invasive machines like bilevel (BiPAP or BPAP) ventilators.

AdvaMed cited a survey of ventilator manufacturers revealing that member companies could combine to produce an average of 60,000 non-invasive ventilator devices per week by the middle of the second quarter, representing an increase from approximately 14,000 at present, thanks to the less complex designs.

“There is an increasing amount of clinical guidance coming out of China, Europe, and the U.S. that positions non-invasive ventilation and invasive ventilation as appropriate, along the spectrum of patient presentation and care,” ResMed (NYSE:RMD) chief medical officer Dr. Carlos Nunez said in the release. “These limited numbers of invasive ventilators can be reserved for the most severe cases by using non-invasive devices to care for those with less acute respiratory symptoms and findings.”

Nunez told MassDevice last week that ResMed, one of AdvaMed’s member respiratory manufacturers, has seen increased demand for bilevel devices for non-invasive ventilation, citing that the demand in the U.S. is increasing overall.

The reliability of non-invasive machines like BPAP devices came into question after Elon Musk donated 1,255 FDA-approved ventilators from ResMed, Philips (NYSE:PHG) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT).

An American Society of Anesthesiologists guidance from February warned that BPAP machines are among the systems that “may increase the risk of infections transmission.” However, the FDA issued guidance on March 22 that included BPAP machines as possible alternatives to ventilators while addressing the shortage of devices.

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