UChicago Medicine Helmet Ventilation Studies
In 2016, researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine led a study showing that using helmet ventilation instead of standard face masks that cover the nose and mouth helps critically ill patients breathe better and can prevent them from needing intubation with a ventilator machine. Patients with helmet ventilation also spent less time in the intensive care unit and had better survival. These helmets are now in use to treat COVID-19 patients.
- One Year Outcomes in Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Enrolled in a Randomized Clinical Trial of Helmet versus Facemask Noninvasive Ventilation (2018)
- Effect of Noninvasive Ventilation Delivered by Helmet vs Face Mask on the Rate of Endotracheal Intubation in Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: A Randomized Trial (2016)
View a UChicago Medicine news story about the original 2016 helmet ventilation study, with minor updates made in March 2020.
Helmet Ventilation Tip Sheets and Assembly Instructions
- Helmet NIV: Bedside Tip Sheet for Providers (PDF)
- Helmet Assembly Instructions for Respiratory Therapists (PDF)
This video details how to use helmet ventilation in various ways, including connection to a ventilator, connection to oxygen/RA flow meter for CPAP, and connection to Respironics V60 to deliver CPAP or biLevel. This video details how to assemble the Sea-Long Medical Systems, Inc. helmet that was used in the clinical trial. The most recent model has fewer parts, but the concepts are the same.
This website includes information focused on helmet-based ventilation, including COVID-19 related resources. This site is not maintained by UChicago Medicine.
NBC News Feature on Helmet-Based Ventilation for COVID-19
On March 31, 2020, UChicago Medicine pulmonologists John Kress, MD, and Bhakti Patel, MD, were featured in an NBC News story about the helmet-based ventilators and the small Texas company that produces them. View the news video below or read the NBC News article.