QEH King's Lynn to trial exovent's futuristic negative pressure ventilator for Covid19 patients
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn is receiving a prototype of an innovative new ventilator by exovent that uses negative pressure to assist the recovery of Covid19 patients and those with
other respiratory issues such as COPD.
It may look like something out of Dr Who, but the system is the product of a dedicated research team, over £1m in volunteer time and is part of a longer term plan in the fight against Covid19.
Dr Peter Young and SN Emily Hodges from the ICU at the QEH, were founding members of the Exovent Charity and have been active in the development of Exovent over the last year.
Dr Young said, “We are about to receive an Exovent unit in our simulation suite for training and further research in volunteers.
"We hope that, in the near future and with appropriate medical regulatory approvals or exemptions, we are able to offer the potential benefits to patients in the near future”
Speaking about the new system, exovent CEO, Ian Joesbury, stated:
“We are really excited to be unveiling this life saving system which is a cutting-edge
reinvention of pre-existing technology.
"In the UK I believe this can form part of a longer-
term plan to treat COVID-19. As the patient does not need to be anaesthetised it opens up
alternative treatment options that may allow more patients to be treated outside of
exovent-19 can provide an alternative choice to using continuous positive airway
pressure (CPAP) by delivering continuous negative extrathoracic pressure (CNEP).
This device does not require to be driven by pressurised air or oxygen.
Additional oxygen that the patient needs can be provided with tubing or a face mask as required
Thanks to rapid engineering development and
prototyping by Marshall ADG (the UK’s leading privately owned Aerospace and Defence
business) and partnership with WMG High Value Manufacturing Catapult, a highly
professional system is now available for approval.
The latest and most advanced iteration,
the exovent-19, is ready to progress to approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products
Once approved, several leading intensive and respiratory care units
stand ready to trial the system, including the Critical Care Research Team, Southampton
NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (University Hospital Southampton & University of
Southampton) and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn NHS Trust.
Dr Malcolm Coulthard, from the exovent team, said:
“From research and findings to date, we firmly believe that the use of negative pressure
devices can transform the patient journey for COVID-19 patients and those with
pneumonia and other diseases that affect breathing.
"The technology is safe, simple to use
and systems could be built and deployed rapidly, in both the UK and overseas.
" Our recent paper published in the medical journal Anaesthesia demonstrates that the exovent-19 is
twice as efficient as other negative pressure systems.”
The exovent task force formed in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis, inspired
by calls from the UK Government for rapid innovation to combat the challenge presented by
this highly contagious and aggressive disease.
The team is composed of anaesthetists,
critical care consultants, nurses, medical clinicians, engineers, academics, scientists and
exovent was not part of the UK Ventilator Challenge as this was conceived for positive
Instead, the exovent team focused on exploring the benefits of negative
pressure ventilation, founded upon lessons learned from nearly 100 years of Negative