New Ventilation Therapy Being Used At CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital To Treat COVID-19 Patients



Alexandria, Louisiana, Nov. 25, 2020- CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System unveiled a new tool being used to care for the most critically ill COVID-19 patients. The StarMed CaStar R Hood, was first used in Italy to provide Coronavirus patients a comfortable alternative to traditional ventilation therapy. It has recently been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA in treating COVID-19 patients.

In a continuing effort to offer patients access to the most advanced treatments and therapies used in treating COVID-19, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital is one of the first in Louisiana to use the non-invasive mechanical ventilation hood manufactured by Intersurgical Inc. The process to bring the helmet technology to CHRISTUS Cabrini began in July.

“In our research we found studies done outside and inside the United States by the University of Chicago which indicated hood ventilation could be a superior alternative to BiPAP in COVID-19patients,” said Erik Stein, Administrative Director of Critical Care, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital.

The new ventilation system is more comfortable and much easier to tolerate for patients experiencing respiratory distress. Like a helmet, the hood fits over the head and creates an enclosed bubble for non-invasive positive pressure to be pushed to the airway and lungs improving oxygen levels and blood transfer.

“With COVID one of the most heart-wrenching facts about the disease process is when patients are to the point of intubation-the mortality rate is extremely high. This offers patients a chance to avoid any escalating ventilation therapy,” said Stein.


There are several benefits to using the Hood. Patients aren’t limited by masking and ventilationtubes. They are able to eat, drink, and watch tv. They also have less problems with skin breakdown, as it doesn’t touch the patient’s face.

Respiratory and Nursing staff have recently finished training on using and caring for patients wearing the StarMed CaStar R Hood. It is now being used to treat COVID-19 patients with prolonged BiPAP or failing BiPAP mask.

“We will see improved results in a significant number of patients. It is another tool we can use to help combat COVID-19,” said Jose Zapatero, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs, CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health System.