The unit that is utilized in the hospital setting is called Vapotherm. This High-Velocity Nasal Insufflation (HI-VNI) technology flushes the extrathoracic dead space of expiratory gas between each breath while creating a fresh reservoir of CO2 to drastically preventing fatigue and decelerating respiratory distress exacerbation in the patient, especially in this current pandemic.
When a patient is requiring ambulance transport and is on a Vapotherm therapy device, the transition is a bit challenging because the Vapotherm treatment must stop and have invasive intubation performed and transferred to a ventilator. Delaying the transport to definitive care. Our initial thought was how can we use a Vapotherm device during our transport to assist with continuity care?
The answer was NO because these units were only made to be used in a hospital setting. Our persistence and further clinical conversations quickly sparked interest in a Beta test, resulting in SMH being the first private EMS provider in the country to utilize this HI-VNI technology during transport. This beta testing will be used for the development of a true field unit for the entire EMS industry. In our discoveries thus far, when a patient being treated with Vapotherm in the ED and transition of care with our teams took only seconds compared to a typical ventilator experience.
This beta test is going to be monumental to Vapotherma to potentially unlock a new market and provide better patient outcomes across the country.