• Aurika Savickaite

"I spent six days and six nights wearing a breathing helmet" said COVID-19 patient in Italy

Updated: May 6

3/27/2020 Chicago


An Italian patient Fausto Russo, 38 who is recovering from pneumonia from COVID-19 has shared his experience of using helmet-based ventilation with the media.

Video Transcript:

I don’t really know what is happening outside my room. Doctors are in and out to check on you. They try to limit contact to a minimum. It’s really lonely. You can’t have your family close by, nobody to support you. The time I’ve spent in hospital has been truly unique. You have to be patient, that’s the most important thing. You must wait and wait. This experience has changed my life.
I spent six days and six nights wearing a breathing helmet. It is something difficult to imagine and understand. Time never passes, you can’t find a position to sleep. After six days they took the helmet off because my breathing was improving. They gave me an oxygen mask to wear.
Coronavirus walks on the legs of people without symptoms. I didn’t have any contact with people who officially had the virus. Now we just need to stop the pandemic and try to return to normal life as soon as possible.

“I spent six days and six nights wearing a breathing helmet. It is something difficult to imagine and understand,” Russo said. “After six days they took the helmet off because my breathing was improving. They gave me an oxygen mask to wear.”

Fausto Russo, 38, told journalists from the Foreign Press Club via videolink that coronavirus changed his life. He spoke from the Santa Maria Goretti hospital after being released from an intensive care unit. The video is posted by Guardian News on YouTube.


Helmet-based ventilation is common in Europe but not in the US. The goal of our website, HelmetBasedVentilation.com, is to organize information about noninvasive ventilation (NIV) via helmet and help health care professionals learn the benefits of its use for patients with COVID-19.


“Italians are lucky to have this option before patients are intubated. In the US, hospitals were not using helmets until this coronavirus pandemic. The University of Chicago Hospital has used NIV via helmet for its patients during a three-year study.” said Aurika Savickaite, the HelmetBasedVentilation.com team leader.


Helmet-based ventilation is a safer alternative for COVID-19 patients and their caregivers because it creates a closed system with little or no leaks and filters the air to keep the virus from spreading. NIV via helmet prevents intubation for 20% to 35% of patients.

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DISCLAIMER: All research and clinical material published on this website is for informational purposes only. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained herein with other sources. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. This website will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom. 

We share tips and ideas from those using helmets, but these may be off-label and untested ideas and should not be construed as medical advice, FDA approved modifications or proven safe or effective.  Please consider these with caution.

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