Helmet Design Ideas - The Swim Noodle Collar Adaptation of the Sea-Long Ventilation Helmet
Updated: May 6
The Swim Noodle Collar Adaptation of the Sea-Long Ventilation Helmet
Disclaimer: we share tips and ideas from those using helmets, but these may be off-label and un-tested ideas and should not be construed as medical advice, FDA approved modifications, or proven safe or effective. Please consider these with caution.
The Sea-Long ventilation helmet provides excellent therapeutic benefits to patients with ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome, as is commonly associated with COVID-19).
One limitation has been that the pressure in the helmet forces the patient’s head downward, into a poor situation relative to the ports in the device, and so that the hard-plastic rim of the device is right behind the patient’s head. Here we present an adaptation that can improve patient comfort, reduce air volume to improve air exchange and position the patient to have service of the ports in the helmet.
The collar is made from a 28.5 inch long (74 cm) long section of 2.25 inch (6 cm) polyurethane close-cell foam cylinder, with a central hole of about 0.75 inches (2 cm) (see images to right). A rubber peg of 0.875 inches (2.2cm) in diameter and 4 inches long (10 cm) is pushed into one end of the noodle, and it may be fixed in place with adhesive (optional).
The noodle is put about the patient’s neck, and secured by pushing the rubber peg into the joining end of the ring.
The helmet is prepared by putting two strings between the two pairs of opposite strap pegs on the outside of the helmet ring (above).
These strings must be taught, so take the care needed to tie small loops on the end of each string to achieve tension when installed.
With the strings in place, the patient puts on the helmet, then an attendant takes care that the collar is pushed all the way into the inner ring of the helmet, and secured in place by the strings. We recommend coating the exterior lowest 1-inch surface of the rubber seal with “Skin tac” so that a 2” strip of 3M Blenderm tape will stick to the rubber, and seal the rubber to the patient’s neck. Leakage presents a hazard to the patient and ttending staff.