Rhode Island Marine Technology Companies Team up to Fight Covid-19

Respiratory complications including Pneumonia and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) are one driver of the critical stain on Hospitals treating patients with Covid-19 and also on the supply of ventillators and associated supplies.

Research at the University of Chicago and in clinical practice in Italy treating Covid-19 has found Non-Invasive Positive Pressure Ventilation (NIPPV) can be a great compliment to traditional approaches to treating ARDS. Until now supplies of Oxygen Treatment hoods used in NIPPV have been in limited supply.

When Subsalve USA www.Subsalve.com , a RI manufacturer of over 40 years focused on high performance inflatable products for undersea, defense, and other markets, became aware of the limited supply they jumped into action. With prototypes developed in two weeks they teamed up with Lombardi Undersea LLC, a diving technology research company with contacts at multiple respiratory departments and philanthropic organizations to get the prototypes in the hands of clinicians as quickly as possible.

Richard Fryburg the Subsalve USA founder said “The Subsalve Team, which we always count on, amazed me in how they all pulled together to go from concept to prototype in 2 week and then go to a world scale raw material supply chain and production output in the following 2 weeks.” Product details and sales information can be found here: www.oxygentreatmenthoods.com.

As a result of these efforts evaluation devices have been provided to more than 30 medical facilities in 8 countries. The team has filed for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the FDA to enable ongoing sales to hospitals across the USA during this crisis. In addition Humanity First has sponsored a clinical trial of NIPPV with the participation of 14 hospitals across the USA to further demonstrate the clinical effectiveness and to provide detailed protocols to clinicians around the world.

The OXYGEN TREATMENT HOOD is a one-piece device made of flexible materials for maximum patient comfort. It is optically clear, and allows for inlet and outlet connections to standard respiratory care circuit devices. The helmet based ventilation concept involves high flow air and/or oxygen to establish both flow and pressure to the patient. The patient’s exhalations are filtered through a viral trap to mitigate virus exposure to the healthcare worker’s environment.

NIPPV has been used in Italy and elsewhere for years to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or ARDS, and with much success. Recently, NIPPV has ben used in Italy specifically for Covid-19 patients as a proactive step to reduce required intubations which require mechanical ventilation. Intubating a patient requires an endotracheal tube and a degree of sedation – both are invasive and the patient outcomes are not favorable. Recent news from New York suggests that mortality once a Covid-19 patient is on a ventilator is very high, perhaps as high as 80%.

According to studies at the University of Chicago, the US authorities on NIPPV, intubations can be reduced by as much as 40% when helmet based ventilation techniques are utilized proactively to treat ARDS, and possibly Covid-19 patients.