According to pulmonologist Dr. Javier Sayas Catalán, advances in noninvasive ventilators allowed his healthcare system at Hospital U 12 de Octubre in Madrid, Spain to meet the ICU surge of COVID-19 patients that hit the country earlier this year.

In a Q&A interview produced by Philips Healthcare, Dr. Sayas Catalán said his hospital was able to find creative, safe, and effective ways to treat COVID-19 patients, with the help of Philips NIV. 

“As the demand for very high-tech, hospital-grade ventilators increased, we set patients on Trilogy Evo who perhaps didn’t require all of the bells and whistles of a dedicated ICU ventilator or Philips V60 ventilator, for example,” Dr. Sayas Catalán said. “We used those vents to free up ICU vents for more severe patients.” 

He added that many of the ventilator capabilities used for COPD patients had applications for these less severe COVID patients.

“There has been a huge improvement with the way ventilation technology works. Previously, we did not use these types of ventilators (ie noninvasive vents like Philips Trilogy Evo) for acute COPD patients, choosing other equipment due to some lack of performance when the patient exhibits high inspiratory demand. Rather, we used them predominantly for neuromuscular patients. The equipment and technology have drastically improved by way of versatility,” Dr. Sayas Catalán said. “For example, Trilogy Evo has improved pressurization capabilities and we are now able to use it for exacerbated COPD patients better than we ever had before. Monitoring capabilities, both remote and on-site, are the other game-changing features, allowing for a high degree of controlling and tailoring ventilation parameters.”

Dr. Sayas Catalán encouraged ICU physicians to “be open-minded” about the use of NIV for COVID-19 patients.

“Be open-minded. Many of my ICU colleagues are quite strict about using only dedicated ICU vents for each and every patient, but they might find that the use of NIV or home ventilators in this type of environment can help to free up ICU ventilators in low-demand patients. Being open minded enough to use a different type of equipment that still offers the safety and efficiency you need to treat your patient appropriately could help you to assign resources more efficiently in a time of great need,” Dr. Sayas Catalán said.

Read the full interview at