Reducing particles aerosolized by NIPPV support devices to offload ventilation and ICU bed usage

green aerosols in the air over a blue background

In this study led by Hai-Thien Phu, and internal medicine and pediatrics resident, researchers aim to provide additional respiratory support for patients with COVID-19 by designing a system to reduce aerosolization from the essential respiratory support device NIPPV, with the goal to offload ventilator needs. In addition, their containment system will allow for various aerosol generating procedures to occur, such as endotracheal intubation, to optimally protect healthcare workers who are in close contact with patients' airways.

“We are finding that patients with COVID-19 are having a difficult time with extubation, and remaining on the ventilator for a prolonged time,” said Phu. “We suspect that respiratory failure is secondary to acute respiratory distress syndrome and cardiac dysfunction, which is putting a significant strain on our healthcare system. By reducing aerosolization from NIPPV, we can utilize this essential respiratory device, and significantly offload the need for ventilation and ICU beds, as well as reduce the risk for barotrauma, improving outcomes.”

This project is supported by the UMN Campus Public Health Officer's CO:VID (Collaborative Outcomes: Visionary Innovation & Discovery) grants program, which support University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.