CPAP Therapy for Sleep Apnea During COVID-19

Guidelines For CPAP therapy users without COVID-19 and COVID-19 symptoms:

CPAP therapy without COVID-19 symptoms
If you are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you can keep using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) as normal. CPAP use in the home is unlikely to affect individuals who do not have COVID-19 nor should it raise the risk to family contacts in the home as long as the CPAP user is not symptomatic and contagious
A CPAP machine is a therapy device for treating sleep apnea. CPAP use doesn’t keep you from contracting COVID-19. Please refer to your national healthcare authority or your medical professional for more information about COVID-19 and contamination prevention.

Guidelines For CPAP Users with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms:

If you have COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it is important to talk to your healthcare professional before ceasing CPAP therapy. CPAP use may slightly increase the risk of aerosolization of the virus which could increase the spreading of the virus to others. We therefore recommend that precautions are taken.

Precautions for family members should be as per the general recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).

CPAP device and mask cleaning:

Follow the cleaning instructions in your Use and Care Guide. However, please note that cleaning any CPAP mask and device according to instructions in the Use and Care Guides is not equivalent to disinfection or sterilization. Disinfection processes have been provided to your CPAP therapy provider.

If you do not have your Use and Care Guide, please refer to the appropriate product page on the website of your manufacturer.

For CPAP Therapy Healthcare Professionals

Multi-patient reprocessing of CPAP masks and devices:

For CPAP Masks

For multi-patient reprocessing of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare CPAP masks, please follow the instructions in our mask Disinfection and Sterilization guides. These are available on each of the relevant product pages on our website, or you can ask your local sales representative. These instructions have been validated to achieve high-level disinfection or sterilization* of our masks.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is from the coronavirus family of enveloped viruses. These viruses are known to have a low resistance to microbicidal processes. Therefore, the recommended disinfection and sterilization methods are sufficient according to the relevant required processes, e.g. Cidex OPA™ or Sterrad™. For more information on Disinfection and Sterilization, see this.

For CPAP Devices

A clean CPAP is imperative during COVID-19
For multi-patient reprocessing of BestCPAP CPAP devices, components that are exposed to the air path should only be cleaned or disinfected according to the BestCPAP Disinfection and Sterilization guides. These are available on each of the relevant product pages on our website, or you can ask your local sales representative.

If the Disinfection and Sterilization Guides across our product range cannot be followed, then single-patient use is recommended.

Information about aerosolization

There has been some worry among healthcare professionals about certain respiratory medical devices enabling the spread of COVID-19. CPAP therapy is not precisely named as an aerosol-generating procedure in the WHO Interim guidance for Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus infection is suspected. However, there has been doubt about the potential creation of aerosols from all forms of non-invasive respiratory support.

The WHO interim guidelines for Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection is suspected state that new publications suggest CPAP does not create widespread dispersion of exhaled air.  However, there is no certainty about whether CPAP use could potentially increase the risk of aerosolization of the virus. We recommend that people take precautions outlined in the WHO guidelines.

Resources and References: