Online tool for training how to ventilate COVID-19 patients

Online tool

Online training has launched that can quickly teach nurses and doctors how to operate ventilators under the direction of an intensive care consultant.

Global efforts are underway to provide the ventilators that the majority of intensive care patients need as part of their treatment. Critical care specialists are being supported by clinicians from other specialties to rapidly expand intensive care and ventilator capacity in hospitals across the NHS.

The new online tool, developed by Imperial College London, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Fundamental VR, allows these redeployed clinicians to gain the key knowledge they need for ventilating patients in just 30 minutes. The training consists of a short how-to video that teaches the essentials of operating ventilators.

Clinicians can use the tool on their smartphone at home or in real-time as they care for patients, enabling them to begin running ventilators immediately under the supervision of an intensive care consultant. It can be accessed for free by any clinician across the world, regardless of health system or specialism.

Professor Ara Darzi, co-director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation and BRC Surgery & Technology Theme Lead, said: “It takes years to specialise a clinician in intensive care; while this new training course is not designed to replace this expertise, it will enable health systems across the world to act now and provide the care that their patients desperately need.

“With greater capacity, we can help more people survive this illness, and prevent health systems from becoming overwhelmed during this crisis.”

The resource is currently being rolled out across Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust with the hope of further roll-out, both nationally and internationally, to support the global need to increase critical capacity in response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

“Our academic partners are helping us greatly with this online tool, which adds to a range of training we’ve had to put in place very quickly,” said Professor Julian Redhead, medical director at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. “The response to COVID-19 will really benefit from the continued collaboration of researchers, clinicians and industry to get innovations into practice and achieving patient benefit.”

Read the full story by Justine Alford here.