To aid in their continuous efforts to combat COVID-19, Italian doctors have elected to use a new equipment known as 'bubble helmets' in treating unstable and critical patients that need assistance in breathing.
The air-tight and transparent helmets, from which it got its name, has shown positive results when used to help patients better and easier which boosts their chances of surviving the disease and fully recovering.
Under normal circumstances, instead of these helmets ventilators are used to support breathing in patients and are only connected to the patients through a face mask. However, with the rising number of cases in Italy, resources are becoming scarce. Thus, with the availability of the 'bubble helmets,' it is expected that the risk of respiratory complications among COVID-19 patients will go down.
According to DailyMail, the equipment has apparently been studied back in 2016 by experts from the University of Chicago. It was then found out that the use of the helmets created substantial and significant differences for patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS.
ARDS is characterized as a severe hypoxemic failure or lack of oxygen in the blood which causes inflammation to the alveolar-capillary barrier causing the leakage of protein-rich edema fluid into the airspace. The fluid then eventually fills the lungs which causes patients to experience difficulty in breathing thus the need for ventilation.
Patients using 'bubble helmets' fare better than those using regular masks.
Based on the study 50 percent of patients were given 'bubble helmets' and the other half use the standard issued face masks. It was then found that the usage of face masks imposed greater threat and risk to the conditions of the patients.
On the other hand, patients who used the helmets fared better than those who used masks. The advantages of the helmet were found to be the sealed air-tight collar that softly wraps around the neck, which is less likely to cause leakage which allows doctors to pump more air for those who are having a hard time breathing.
Although it is unclear if the National Health Service (NHS) uses these helmets regularly, it has been recommended by the British Thoracic Society as a viable replacement to face masks in cases of scarcity.
According to reports, it has already been announced that there will be new ventilators that will be provided to NHS Hospitals to aid in the battle against COVID-19. This follows the appeal that the government launched to fabricators to start developing them.
There have been a series of demands to manufacturers to produce more ventilators or 'bubble helmets', which has already proven helpful in Italy's cause to bring comfort to patients who are now extremely and critically ill be more by aiding their breathing.
The novel coronavirus causes the Coronavirus Diseases of COVID-19, which first emerged in Wuhan, China late in December of 2019 has already infected more than 277,300 and has taken 11,554 lives world wide.