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Reducing COVID-19 Patients' Breathing Efforts Could Be Key to Success of Non-Invasive Respiratory Support

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A patient receiving breathing assistance from a ventilator.

The researchers found that while non-invasive support improved patient oxygenation, stresses and strains inside the lung could increase to potentially damaging levels unless significant reductions in breathing effort took place.

Credit: University of Warwick (U.K.)

A team of U.S., U.K., and Irish researchers has used computational modeling to demonstrate that non-invasive respiratory support is more likely to be successful if it relies on significantly reducing patients' efforts to breath.

Researchers at the U.K.'s University of Warwick created computer simulations of 120 COVID-19 patients to measure the internal mechanics generated by different types of non-invasive support at different levels of breathing intensity.

They found that while non-invasive measures improved oxygenation, stresses, and strains within the lung could be elevated to potentially dangerous levels without any reduction in breathing effort.

Said Dr. Luigi Camporata, “These results provide urgently needed evidence to help clinicians manage and optimize the treatment of COVID-19 patients in a way that averts additional and preventable lung injury.”

From University of Warwick (U.K.)
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