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Breathing machine developed to help Covid-19 patients

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A BREATHING aid that can help keep Coronavirus patients out of intensive care has been created under a week and got the go-ahead for use on the National Health Service (NHS), Downing Street has said.

  The device, known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help Coronavirus patients and bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and the need for full ventilation, which requires sedation and an invasive procedure.

  A team from University College London (UCL) and University College London Hospital (UCLH) worked with Mercedes Formula One to make the machine that delivers oxygen to the lungs without the need for a ventilator.

  The breathing aid delivers oxygen to the lungs without the need for a ventilator.

  The team adapted and improved existing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which are already used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China in a process known as reverse engineering.

   The new breathing aid bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and the need for full ventilation, which requires sedation and an invasive procedure. 

UCL said the device had then been recommended for use by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which approves medical devices in the UK.

  The adapted device was developed under 100 hours from an initial meeting to production of the first CPAP.

  Some 100 devices are now being delivered to UCLH for clinical trials, followed by the potential for rapid roll-out to hospitals around the UK.

  Reports from Italy suggest around half of patients given CPAP have avoided the need for invasive mechanical ventilation.

  UCLH critical care consultant, Professor Mervyn Singer said: “These devices will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the most severely ill.

  “While they will be tested at UCLH first, we hope they will make a real difference to hospitals across the UK by reducing demand on intensive care staff and beds, as well as helping patients recover without the need for more invasive ventilation.”

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