Pressured oxygen reduces ventilator need


Oxygen therapy that forces the lungs to inflate reduces the number of Covid patients needing to be put on a ventilator, research shows.

Covid can lead to lung damage, making it far harder to get vital oxygen into the body.

The trial – across 48 hospitals in the UK – aimed to discover the best way of delivering extra oxygen.

The researchers say the findings will help patients in the UK and in countries with limited supplies.

The trial investigated three methods of delivery:

  • standard oxygen therapy
  • high-flow nasal oxygen – which gives the patient more oxygen
  • continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) – which uses a tightly fitting mask to give the oxygen at pressure and inflate the lungs

All the methods have been used widely for patients struggling to breathe but before their disease becomes so severe they need to go on a ventilator.

Nearly 1,300 people took part in the trials and were given one of the therapies at random.

The results showed every 12 patients moved from standard therapy to CPAP would prevent one needing ventilation.