UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


Accessing the UCL Ventura CPAP for the NHS

10,000 UCL Ventura CPAP devices have been manufactured for use, and these are now being used in over 130 NHS hospitals. Healthcare professionals in the UK can request devices for hospitals at no cost.

The UCL Ventura CPAP devices and breathing circuits, made by UCL (University College London) and Mercedes-AMG-HPP, are available for allocation and distribution by the Oxygen and Ventilator programme, jointly run by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care.

The devices were reverse-engineered based on the old Philips Respironics Whisperflow wall CPAP device. They and the patient circuits have been re-engineered to produce more comfort to the patient in terms of reduced circuit resistance, and significantly reduced oxygen utilisation. For example, in volunteer testing, normal breathing at 40% oxygen concentration, CPAP 10 cm water required 13.6 litres of O2 /min versus 31.7 l/min on the original device, while 60% oxygen used 17.4 litres/min versus 57 litres/min. Flow rates need to be increased in patients with a higher work of breathing but even then, in volunteers who were maximally hyperventilating for 30-60 seconds, 40% oxygen requirement required 25.4 litres/min of oxygen flow and 60% required 46.7 litres/min. This is a significant advantage over existing stand-alone high-flow CPAP devices.

While data is lacking on outcomes of CPAP versus early intubation and mechanical ventilation, intensivists and respiratory clinicians working closely together in many hospitals in the London area have successfully employed this strategy to decrease the requirement for mechanical ventilation, especially when ventilators and trained staff are in very short supply. While we would not claim CPAP to be a panacea, we are finding that approximately 50% of patients treated with CPAP do not progress to mechanical ventilation, and this is consistent with data from Italy. Clearly, if the patient is moribund, or does not respond to a trial of CPAP in terms of oxygenation, comfort or work of breathing, or is non-compliant with the mask/hood then intubation and mechanical ventilation should be considered, if appropriate.

Individual hospitals must work with their oxygen engineers to ascertain their VIE outflow and downstream flows and pressures in specific ward areas before deploying these devices.

I'm a healthcare professional in the UK, will my NHS hospital be able to get CPAP devices?

The Department of Health and Social Care has commissioned up to 10,000 devices for distribution across England, the devolved nations and crown dependencies. The MHRA have given their approval for patient use. These devices are being made on a not-for-profit basis. We provide UCL-Ventura CPAP devices with oxygen analysers plus disposable circuits, masks, valves and bacterial/viral filters, with resupply of the disposable components. These will be provided at no cost.

The UCL-Ventura CPAPs are available for allocation and distribution by the Oxygen and Ventilator programme, jointly run by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care. For supply, please contact your NHS territory lead. If you do not know your NHS territory lead, please contact ihecovid19response@ucl.ac.uk from your NHS email, with the subject line: NHS Territory Lead Enquiry and state your location. 

The patient circuit configuration has been defined to minimise oxygen consumption when used with the UCL-Ventura CPAP, and should not be altered. Resupply of these circuits can be done at zero cost through: https://ucl-ventura.g-tem.co.uk/

Once your order is placed, it will be delivered within 48 hours. We have implemented order volume limits based on stock availability, to ensure fair distribution linked to the number of UCL-Ventura CPAP units you have at your hospital. Please contact sales@g-tem.co.uk with any questions.

Any equipment failures involving a UCL-Ventura CPAP must be reported using this form: bit.ly/UCLVenturaAI

For any queries, please contact ihecovid19response@ucl.ac.uk

How do I learn more about the CPAP device and how to use it?

Instructions for use of UCL Ventura CPAP device (video for clinical guidance):

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6WkHwUl4U8&feature=youtu.be

If you would like to watch our video on how to use the CPAP correctly in a clinical setting with Spanish or Portuguese subtitles:

  1. On the bottom right of the video there is a little square with CC on, this will turn the subtitles on
  2. If you then click the cog settings sign next to the CC square, this will give the option to switch the subtitles between English, Spanish or Portuguese

Instructions for use of UCL Ventura CPAP device (written clinical guidance):


Healthy volunteer test data: 


UCL Ventura CPAP user manual: