First Covid-19 patient to receive CPAP treatment discharged from specialist ward

After successful treatment for Covid-19 using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) from Baird Ward at Conquest Hospital (part of East Sussex NHS Trust), Jon McMullon – the first patient to receive the treatment has been discharged.

CPAP is a type on non-invasive ventilation to treat patients with respiratory failure.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a form of positive airway pressure ventilator, which applies mild air pressure on a continuous basis.

It keeps the airways continuously open in people who are able to breathe spontaneously on their own, but need help keeping their airway unobstructed.

It is an alternative to positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP).

Both modalities stent the lungs’ alveoli open and thus recruit more of the lung’s surface area for ventilation, but, while PEEP refers to devices that impose positive pressure only at the end of the exhalation, CPAP devices apply continuous positive airway pressure throughout the breathing cycle.

The ventilator itself does not cycle during CPAP, no additional pressure above the level of CPAP is provided, and patients must initiate all of their breaths.

CPAP improves survival and decreases the need for steroid treatment for a patient’s lungs.

In March 2020, the USFDA suggested that CPAP devices may be used to support patients affect by Covid-19.

However, they recommended additional filtration as non-invasive ventilation may increase the risk of infectious transmission.

Mollie Taylor, Sister on Baird Ward said:

“Mr McMullon was so grateful for our care and was reduced to tears when saying his thankyous and goodbyes, he insisted on having a photo ‘with the team who saved his life’.

“We are extremely proud that we have recently taken on a Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) service on Baird Ward in the past year to help treat patients with types of respiratory failure.

All staff have undergone extra training to ensure we are competent and confident to provide this service, supported by our excellent Consultants and Specialist Respiratory Nurses.

“We had luckily trained all staff members for this prior to the Covid pandemic, as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP, which is a type of Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV), was found to be a form of treatment for some patients with Covid who were appropriate for it.

“The original idea of bringing NIV onto Baird Ward was to help alleviate the pressure on the Critical Care Unit and free up critical care beds. In doing this, we have become a specialist ward for NIV for patients with respiratory conditions.”