Frequently asked questions about our Respiratory Care products specific to COVID-19
If you or a loved one think you may have had exposure to COVID-19, please contact your local emergency medical personnel or your doctor immediately.
We’re here to help.
If you or a loved one have a respiratory condition, we know this is a particularly challenging time. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we have been receiving from patients.
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I have COPD, am I at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?
Will my Oxygen therapy help protect me from the COVID-19 virus?
Oxygen therapy devices are designed to treat decreased oxygen in the blood, which may be a consequence of COPD. It does not prevent you from contracting COVID-19. Please contact your physician or medical professional for medical advice and follow your national or international guidelines. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
If I have symptoms of COVID-19, should I stop using my portable oxygen concentrator?
It is important to talk to your medical provider before stopping any medical treatments. Thus, do not stop your oxygen without talking with your physician. Everyone has a unique health situation. Please contact your physician or medical professional for medical advice and follow your national or international guidelines. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
Should I be replacing my cannula more frequently due to COVID-19?
We do not have sufficient information at this time to recommend that changing your cannula more frequently will impact your exposure to COVID-19. Follow your instructions for use that came with your equipment and contact your home healthcare professional.
What is a Ventilator and what does it do?
A ventilator is a medical device that requires a physician prescription and helps patients who cannot breathe properly on their own by delivering air into their lungs. Philips offers a range of ventilators that are both indicated for home and hospital use and have the flexibility for use in various clinical scenarios to support patients who cannot breathe adequately. Our ventilators can provide invasive or non-invasive ventilation:
Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is a form of mechanical ventilation where air is delivered to the patient through a mask or mouthpiece.
Invasive ventilation is a form of ventilatory support where air is delivered through a tube inserted into the trachea either by intubation or tracheotomy.
How do I obtain a ventilation device if I’m diagnosed with COVID-19?
Ventilators require physician prescription and Philips does not provide ventilators direct to consumers. Please contact your Homecare Provider or Healthcare professional. If you have been tested and diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to follow the recommendation of the medical staff who provided the diagnosis. Depending on your symptoms, you may need ventilator support to recover. Your healthcare team will prescribe the necessary equipment to help you get better. If you are sent home to recover, your home health provider will help with your equipment needs.
If I have COVID-19, can I spread it while on invasive or non-invasive ventilation?
If you have or suspect you have COVID-19, you could spread the virus to others around you while using your device because all of your exhaled air does not remain inside the mask. Therefore, while using your device follow the CDC guidelines for those with the virus, including:
Separating yourself from other people in your home.
Staying and sleeping in a specific “sick room.”
Using a separate bathroom if one is available.
Covering your coughs and sneezes with tissue.
Washing your hands often with soap and water.
Cleaning frequently touched surfaces in your “sick room” every day.
Seek medical care if your illness gets worse. Call your doctor or emergency room before going in and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
How can I be sure I am cleaning my respiratory therapy equipment correctly?
Follow your instructions for use that came with your equipment. Please contact your home healthcare equipment provider for disinfection recommendations for your specific equipment used.
Note: Cleaning any device or mask in the manner recommended following the instructions in your user manuals does not guarantee decontamination or disinfection from the COVID-19 virus. For more information on disinfection, contact your home healthcare supplier.
Asthma and Respiratory Drug Delivery devices FAQs
If I have symptoms of the COVID-19, should I continue using my Nebulizer?
If you use a nebulizer and contract COVID-19 or suspect that you have COVID-19, keep in mind that the virus may persist in aerosol droplets in the air for 1-2 hours. Therefore, the administration of nebulized medications should be in a location that minimizes exposure to other family members. Locations may include outside areas such as a porch, patio or in a garage. It is important to select an area, where air is not recirculated into the home. It should also be in an area where the nearby surfaces do not need to be cleaned or are easily cleaned.
Do SideStream Plus filters have bacterial/viral grading?
The filters themselves do, but they are not used for that purpose – they are for aerosol filtering.
Can a Peak flow Meter be used to distinguish between an asthma cough and COVID-19 cough?
A peak flow meter is a portable, easy-to-use device that measures how well you are able to exhale air from the large airways in your lungs. Peak flow readings may be used to monitor asthma control and measure bronchospasm (i.e. constriction of your airways) during an asthma flare-up. Currently, there is no evidence that peak flow readings can be used to distinguish the difference between an asthma cough and COVID-19 cough.
Can nebulizers be used to treat COVID-19?
There are currently no inhaled anti-viral agents available for treatment of COVID-19 or the pneumonia caused by COVID -19. Reach out to your doctor if you have any respiratory symptoms. Your doctor will evaluate you based upon your severity and symptoms and prescribe treatment. She may adjust your asthma treatment and monitor your condition closely.
What is the difference between using “a nebulizer machine versus a ventilator machine”?
A Nebulizer is an electric- or battery-powered machine that turns liquid medicine into a fine mist, which may be inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece. It is used to deliver medication directly to a person’s airways to treat airway constriction and inflammation. A ventilator is a machine that may be used to breathe for someone if they are unable to breathe effectively on their own. A ventilator can be used with a mask or with a tube inserted through the mouth and down into the trachea. It is used to get more oxygen into the lungs and removes a waste gas (carbon dioxide) from the body. Discuss any medical treatments you are considering with your medical professional.
What medication should be administered through nebulizers?
Bronchodilators to treat airway constriction are delivered through nebulizers.
I have Asthma, am I at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?