Study focuses on noninvasive alternative to a ventilator in severe COPD

Michael Benninghoff, D.O.

Christiana Care Health System is participating in national research that may provide a non-invasive alternative to a ventilator for patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to a report from the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. Patients with COPD are prone to flare-ups, or exacerbations, where their symptoms suddenly become worse. These exacerbations can lead to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the patient, which can result in respiratory failure and the need for life-saving intubation and mechanical ventilation.

The trial, called Vent-Avoid, is studying the safety and efficacy of Hemolung RAS, an investigational medical device that provides low-flow extracorporeal CO2 removal, or ECCO2R, for adults with severe acute exacerbations of COPD. The research is sponsored by ALung Technologies, Inc., with FDA permission.

To be eligible for the Vent-Avoid trial, patients must be failing support with noninvasive ventilation or have been intubated and failed at least one spontaneous breathing trial.

Eligible patients will be assigned randomly into an investigational group or a control group. Patients in the investigational group will receive ECCO2R with the Hemolung RAS plus standard-of-care mechanical ventilation. Patients in the control group will receive standard-of-care mechanical ventilation alone.

The primary outcome measure for the trial is the number of ventilator-free days in a 60-day period.

For more information on the trial, contact Michael G. Benninghoff, D.O., section chief of Medical Critical Care, and medical director of Respiratory Care at 302-623-7600.