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CPAP Treatment Delivered Early in Admission Can Save Lives of COVID-19 Patients, Finds Study

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 Nov 2020
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Image: CPAP Treatment Delivered Early in Admission Can Save Lives of COVID-19 Patients, Finds Study (Photo courtesy of Lancaster University)
Image: CPAP Treatment Delivered Early in Admission Can Save Lives of COVID-19 Patients, Finds Study (Photo courtesy of Lancaster University)
New research has revealed that the lives of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 can be saved using an existing medical treatment at an earlier stage.

A team of doctors at the Lancaster University (Lancashire, UK) used Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines on hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In the case of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome, COVID-19 may cause the lungs to swell and collapse. Using CPAP treatment, which is often used at home to help people with sleep problems, helps to keep the lungs open and makes breathing easier. The researchers found that the early use of CPAP potentially reduces lung damage during the worst of the COVID-19 infection and allows the patient to recover from the inflammatory effects. However, when used later, CPCP does not prevent lung damage thus leading to additional inflammation and a reduction in survival chances.

"When you use CPAP early in the admission it stops the patient getting worse, therefore avoiding invasive ventilation techniques. As CPAP is readily available and can be used in a ward setting, we have demonstrated that, when used early, it can be very effective way of treating severe COVID-19 pneumonia," said Dr. Abdul Ashish, consultant respiratory physician who led the team of doctors.

"We show that Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) in the first days of hospitalization seems to save between 10% to 20% of patients. However it is important to underline that this was a pilot study with a small sample size, although comforting evidence is starting to emerge elsewhere," said Dr. Luigi Sedda of Lancaster University who analyzed the results of their research.

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Lancaster University


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