MORRISVILLE – As the world grapples with a shortage of ventilators during the coronavirus crisis, a group of physicians are advocating for a “bridging opton” that could potentially delay or remove the need for mechanical ventilation for some COVID-19 patients.

It’s called a BiPAP (Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure), and according to Syneos Health, these devices are generally available in many hospitals and have the ability to delay or obviate the need for mechanical ventilation when used with intubation.

The clinical research company based in Morrisville is now making it its mission to educate frontline healthcare providers about this option and has launched an open access platform, which is now live and provides physicians with practical steps and training materials for use of invasive BiPAP with COVID-19 patients suffering respiratory failure..

“Due to the projected critical global shortage of mechanical ventilators to care for critically-ill COVID-19 patients, the medical community urgently needs to know about alternative ventilation options and their use if we are to prevent loss of life,” said Keith Robinson, MD, a Syneos Health Medical Director and Critical Care Pulmonologist, in a statement. “This invasive BiPAP option needs to be shared with healthcare professionals around the world.”

BiPAP should not be confused with CPAP machines often used for sleep apnea.

“BiPAP refers to Bilevel or two-level Positive Airway Pressure. Like CPAP, this sleep apnea treatment works by sending air through a tube into a mask that fits over the nose.,” says the American Sleep Association.

“While CPAP generally delivers a single pressure, BiPAP delivers two: an inhale pressure and an exhale pressure. These two pressures are known as inhalation positive airway pressure (IPAP) and exhalation positive airway pressure (EPAP).”

Sharing information

Skipta, one of the largest social network of online medical communities, part of Informa Pharma Intelligence, has joined the effort, and will share invasive BiPAP educational materials with their 700,000 strong online healthcare provider social network by launching a new COVID-19 focused physician community platform.

“We recognize the critical need to inform the healthcare professional community of the invasive BiPAP option as a viable solution to deal with ventilator shortages,” said Skipta CEO Theodore Search, in a statement. “Our hope is that by helping to disseminate this information, healthcare professionals will be informed of this option when faced with equipment restraints hindering care.”

A white paper, podcast and other education materials are available on the platform.