Coronavirus: Mercedes engineers help create breathing aid for NHS use

Omnisport

Mercedes F1 engineers have helped to create a breathing aid to keep patients suffering from COVID-19 out of intensive care that has received approval for use by the NHS.

Working with University College London engineers and clinicians at UCLH, the device – which delivers oxygen to the brain without the need for a ventilator – was created in less than a week.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has given its approval for its use.

A Mercedes statement explained: "The breathing aid, known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to help Covid-19 patients with serious lung infections to breathe more easily, when oxygen alone is insufficient.

"This breathing aid was produced within a rapid timeframe - it took fewer than 100 hours from the initial meeting to production of the first device. 

"One hundred devices are to be delivered to UCLH for clinical trials, with rapid roll-out to hospitals around the country ahead of the predicted surge in COVID-19 hospital admissions."

The statement added approximately 50 per cent of patients who use CPAP in Italy "avoided the need for invasive mechanical ventilation".

"The Formula 1 community has shown an impressive response to the call for support, coming together in the 'Project Pitlane' collective to support the national need at this time across a number of different projects," said Mercedes HPP chief Andy Cowell.

"We have been proud to put our resources at the service of UCL to deliver the CPAP project to the highest standards and in the fastest possible timeframe."

There have been 19,522 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, with 1,228 having died.

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