CPAP therapy during Covid-19
Last Updated on March 30, 2021
COVID-19 coronavirus infection is an acute respiratory viral infection whose complications can include viral pneumonia, resulting in life-threatening inflammatory lung damage or respiratory failure, with a risk of death.
Transmission occurs through the airborne route from one person to another by sneezing or coughing. The contact-domestic route of transmission is also possible.
The main symptoms are an increase in body temperature (usually 38-39° C), cough (dry or with little sputum), a tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, muscle and headache. The disease may also start with liquid stools, nausea, vomiting, and decreased appetite.
In order to prevent the infection and spread of respiratory viral infection it is necessary:
- wash your hands regularly with soap and water or treat them with an antiseptic agent;
- Avoid close contact (less than 1 meter) with sick people who are coughing or have a high body temperature;
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes with unwashed hands;
- when coughing or sneezing, cover your nose and mouth with a disposable napkin or bent elbow, followed by obligatory hand washing;
- Refrain from visiting crowded places during mass diseases.
COVID-19 and CPAP: What need to Know?
Current clinical experience suggests that there is no need to discontinue the use of CPAP and BIPAP machines (“PAP therapy”) during an epidemic of coronavirus infection. Moreover, PAP therapy in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and obesity hypoventilation syndrome can reduce the risk of severe respiratory complications. Thus, even if infected with coronavirus, it is advisable to continue treatment, but in any case, it is necessary to consult the attending physician.
In the home, it is necessary to follow enhanced measures to prevent the patient from becoming infected:
- disinfect the device and mask daily with a special disinfectant;
- Use viral/bacterial filters in the circuit of the apparatus;
- To exclude external contamination, it is possible to treat the device with ozone*.
* There are Ozone CPAP Cleaners that purge the machine with activated oxygen (ozone) and destroy 99.99% of viruses and bacteria in a treatment cycle (30 minutes). Worldwide they are actively used for disinfection of PAP systems. At the same time, there is currently no exact information about how ozone treatment specifically affects coronaviruses. In any case, there is no harm in this procedure.
If, however, a patient using PAP therapy has contracted a coronavirus infection but continues to be at home, it is important to minimize the risk of infecting others:
- perform all of the above activities;
- sleep alone in the room;
- if possible, exclude the use of a heated humidifier to reduce the formation of an aerosol cloud*;
- disinfect the machine and mask so as to avoid contamination of other rooms, and use personal protective equipment when in contact with the patient and the machine.
*In case of pronounced dryness of the patient’s mucous membranes during therapy, the use of a humidifier is possible, but the measures to protect others from possible infection should be particularly carefully observed.
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