Objectives: To assess efficacy and tolerability of a newly developed helmet for the delivery of non-invasive ventilation in patients with acute respiratory failure.
Patients and methods: Ten consecutive immunocompromised patients with acute respiratory failure admitted to our intensive care unit were included in the study. The patients were equipped with the helmet and non-invasive ventilation (NIV) was performed. Oxygenation and tolerability were assessed during the first 24 hours of NIV.
Results: All patients tolerated the helmet well and their oxygenation improved. Two patients developed septic shock and had to be endotracheally intubated during the study period, eight patients survived to be weaned from NIV.
Conclusions: NIV delivered via the helmet is effective and may serve as a better tolerated alternative to endotracheal intubation and to NIV via a standard face mask.