We have consulted with the FDA for emergency use authorization, and we believe we have a safe and viable solution that can provide life-saving breathing support within the coming months.
We’re taking swift action
Initial prototyping and testing was performed by collecting sleep apnea machines donated by residents of the City of Berkeley. To scale up and provide more available machines in a timely fashion, we created a repository on this website for people and sleep clinics to register their unused sleep apnea machines. We are currently in the process of re-purposing commercial devices and evaluating their use for attachment to endotracheal tubes and external full face mask modification (with filtration). Initial testing has assessed the ability to provide sufficient O2 and alteration in CO2 within a modified mask during extended breathing.
How CPAP & BIPAP Machines Can Help The Ventilator Demand
With minimal modifications, these machines can be retrofitted to provide breathing support for COVID-19 patients during an emergency situation where there are limited or no ventilators available.
Places like Italy, Spain and New York City experienced drastic shortages of ventilators during the fight against COVID19. During emergency situations, when there is no or limited access to available ventilators, sleep apnea machines can be converted to provide breathing support for some COVID patients. For example, one potential use case would be during the weaning process from full ventilation. For COVID19 patients weaning from a ventilator can take multiple days. Moving the patient to a converted sleep apnea BIPAP machine would free up a ventilator for COVID19 patients with more serious respiratory disease.