May 13, 2020

CPAP Use May Spread COVID-19 

As all of us know, COVID-19 attacks the respiratory tract, and in severe cases the last treatment includes the use of ventilators. Earlier in the pandemic, however, the US had a shortage of ventilators. There was an attempt to convert Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines into ventilators. This came to a halt when it was determined that the use of CPAP machines could aerosolize COVID-19 through CPAP mask leaks.

CPAP is a commonly used mode of therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by keeping the patient’s airway open during sleep through pure, brute air pressure. The problem is that unlike ventilators which are invasive and include air filtration mechanisms, CPAP machines are non-invasive and don’t filter the air that escapes through mask leaks.

This air is pushed out when the patient exhales and that may lead to aerosolizing COVID-19. The virus can then survive three-four hours increasing the risk of infecting bed partners and other people who live in close proximity. There is an alternative for sleep patients who rely on CPAP machines, and who want to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19. SleepArchiTx™ can help you treat patients with OSA with easy to use, customized sleep appliances. There is no aerosolization of the virus when a patient wears a comfortable sleep appliance during sleep.