On Nov. 23 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the ventilator accessory PortPatch, which is intended to reduce the spread of airborne particulates through the exhalation ports, anti-asphyxia valves, and carbon dioxide vents on full-face or non-rebreathing CPAP masks and other ventilation masks.
According to the manufacturer, Azimuth Sleep Solutions, the PortPatch is made of N99-rated filter material. The company indicates that it created the PortPatch to help keep front-line health care providers safer during the COVID-19 pandemic and to expand treatment options available to patients. Azimuth reports that the PortPatch can be use in patient-care settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and sleep labs, and it also can be used by patients on their CPAP masks at home.
According to the CDC, some procedures performed on patients are more likely to generate higher concentrations of infectious respiratory aerosols than coughing, sneezing, talking, or breathing. These aerosol-generating procedures potentially put health care personnel and others at an increased risk for pathogen exposure and infection. Commonly performed medical procedures that are often considered aerosol-generating, or that create uncontrolled respiratory secretions, include non-invasive ventilation such as CPAP therapy.
As a recommended routine infection prevention and control practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC advises health care personnel to wear an N95 or equivalent or higher-level respirator, instead of a facemask, for aerosol-generating procedures. Providers also should wear eye protection during patient care encounters.
Find more COVID-19 resources from the AASM.