The Evolution of CPAP

From Blast Lung to COVID-19

13th July 2020

The Evolution of CPAP

From Blast Lung to COVID-19

John Armstrong founded Armstrong Medical in 1984 when Northern Ireland was experiencing civil unrest. During this period up to a quarter of admissions to ICU resulted from gunshot wounds or ‘blast lung’, a respiratory injury following exposure to explosions.



Anaesthetists at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast delivered ‘Positive End Expiratory Pressure’ to keep lungs slightly inflated at the end of each breath, preventing lung collapse and further damage.

Read the paper “Surgery of violence. III. Intensive care of patients with bomb blast and gunshot injuries.” by “R C Gray and D L Coppel” on

This demand for respiratory equipment influenced the development of Armstrong Medical.


From these foundations, the company grew considerably. First sourcing components before investing to become a manufacturer of innovative medical equipment and consumables for anaesthesia and critical care. Armstrong Medical now exports to 56 countries around the world.

In 2016, with over 30 years of experience providing CPAP consumables, Armstrong Medical launched our first branded flow driver the FD140.

Pioneering Team

Following international success with the FD140, Dr Ciarán Magee led our team of inhouse product designers to develop our new and improved flow driver, the second generation FD140i.
During the outbreak of COVID-19, the FD140 became an invaluable resource in ICUs in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Using advanced intuitive technology for improved control, the FD140i will be a necessity during future outbreaks.

“The benefit of the FD140 is the easy transition to CPAP when HFOT is not enough. Our Doctors reported positive results with CPAP when treating COVID-19.”
Agustin Martin, Martin Vecino, Spain.

Watch Covid-19 patient being extubated (Madrid)

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