COVID-19, more commonly referred to as Coronavirus, has become an increasing concern, especially in the world of medical devices. We have collated the following information to hopefully answer any questions you may have about the use of Bedfont® products and consumables.
My patient has cold/flu-like symptoms – can they still perform a breath test?
As a global company, we must first and foremost advise that you follow your local guidelines on whether or not you should continue breath testing at this time.
Please be advised that patients with cold/flu-like symptoms can pose a higher risk of cross infection.
How safe are the D-piece® mouthpiece filters?
The D-piece™ incorporates a one-way valve and an infection control filter, which has been tested vigorously by Public Health England to prove it removes and trap 99% and 96.5% of airborne bacteria and viruses respectively. Bedfont recommends the D-piece™ can be used for a continuous 30 days in conjunction with single-patient-use SteriBreath™ mouthpieces.
If you have any concerns over multiple use of the D-piece™ mouthpiece filter, Bedfont® can also offer the OneBreath™ mouthpiece. The OneBreath™ is a single-patient use mouthpiece, which contains the same one-way valve and infection control filter of the D-piece™, but is single-use for ‘gold standard’ infection control. The OneBreath™ can be disposed of according to local waste guidelines immediately after testing to further minimise the risk of cross infection.
Both the D-piece™ filter and OneBreath™ mouthpiece have been tested to filter viruses as small as 23 nanometres in diameter and the Covid-19 virus particle has an approximate diameter of 0.125 micrometres, which is the equivalent to 125 nanometres. It is therefore reasonable to imply that both the D-piece™ filter and OneBreath™ mouthpiece could be effective at filtering out Covid-19 due to its larger size, however testing this against Covid-19 is not available at this time.
How effective is SteriTouch® against Coronavirus?
We are proud to say the Bedfont® monitors are integrated with SteriTouch® antimicrobial additives, which eradicate the bacteria that cause contamination and infection. SteriTouch® has released a statement on COVID-19 which reads, ‘Several of the active substances used by SteriTouch® have been successfully tested against other enveloped viruses, such as Influenza, Avian flu and SARS. It would be reasonable to imply that those same active substances would be effective against COVID-19, but at this stage testing against COVID-19 is not available.’ For further information on Coronavirus and SteriTouch®, we recommend you visit the SteriTouch® information page: https://www.steritouch.com/portfolio-posts/coronavirus-steritouch-stance/
If you would like to take extra precautions at this time, Bedfont® recommends wearing gloves when handling the monitors and instead opting for the single-use OneBreath™ mouthpiece, which contains a one-way valve and has be proven to remove and trap 99% and 96.5% of airborne bacteria and viruses respectively. NHS customers should follow procedures given by the NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) followed by the Infection Control and Maintenance Guidelines provided by Bedfont®.
As best practice, no patients who present cold/flu-like symptoms should take a breath test.
What precautions can I take to reduce the risk of cross-infection?
At this time, Bedfont® suggests the following measures to help reduce the risk of cross-infection:
- If possible, wear gloves when handling the Bedfont® monitors
- Do not let the patient hold the monitor when performing the test – it is recommended at this time that the healthcare professional should hold the monitor
- If possible, opt for the single-use OneBreath™ mouthpiece instead of the D-piece™ filter and SteriBreath™ mouthpiece combination
- It is recommended at all times that the patient should dispose of their mouthpiece at the end of the test, as stated in the Infection Control Maintenance Guidelines.
- As standard practice, Bedfont® recommends that the monitors are wiped down with non-alcoholic antibacterial/viral wipes, provided with the monitor, after each breath test.
Can I use other mouthpieces/consumables to make it safer for my patients?
Use of counterfeit or non-Bedfont® approved accessories and consumables may result in loss of performance and/or damage to your device. This risk of incorrect results could adversely affect patient care. We also remind you that counterfeit and/or non-Bedfont® accessories and consumables do not possess the quality and reliability of the original manufacturer products, nor have they undergone the Toxicology tests to ensure they are fit to be used orally, and therefore their safety and infection control efficacy cannot be guaranteed.
The D-piece™ has been tested by Public Health England to prove it removes and trap 99% and 96.5% of airborne bacteria and viruses respectively, and contains a one-way valve to prevent patient’s inhaling through the mouthpiece. Bedfont recommends the D-piece™ can be used for a continuous 30 days in conjunction with single-patient-use SteriBreath™ mouthpieces.
If you have any concerns over multiple use of the D-piece™ mouthpiece filter, Bedfont® can also offer the OneBreath™ mouthpiece, which also contains a one-way valve and has been vigorously by Public Health England to prove it removes and trap 99% of airborne bacteria and 96.5% viruses. The OneBreath™ mouthpiece is single-use for ‘gold standard’ infection control and can be disposed of according to local waste guidelines immediately after testing to further minimise the risk of cross infection.
I’m trying to identify a cleaning product that is effective against Coronavirus and also safe for our devices. I know that we aren’t supposed to use alcohol products for example.
As far as we are aware, there are not any wipes available on the market that have been tested and approved to protect against COVID-19. NHS customers should follow procedures given by the NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/) and the rest of the world should please follow their local guidelines, followed by the Infection Control and Maintenance Guidelines provided by Bedfont®.
As standard practice, Bedfont® recommends that the monitors are wiped down with non-alcoholic antibacterial/viral wipes, provided with the monitor, after each breath test.
Please see the next question about hand sanitiser containing alcohol.
I know we cannot use alcohol to clean the products, but can I still use an hand sanitiser containing alcohol before using the monitor?
During the current COVID-19 risk, we understand that using only non-alcohol sanitising products may not be feasible at this time. It is for this reason that we have tested the potential impact alcohol hand sanitising gels might have on device results. From the data obtained, it appears that commonly used hand sanitisers contain up to 73.5% alcohol, therefore we have carried out strenuous testing with a number of hand gels up to this alcohol percentage, using the monitors after the hand sanitiser has completely dried.
After using and allowing hand sanitiser to dry, it was shown to have little effects on the results given by the Smokerlyzer® range of products. Therefore, we can conclude that hand sanitising products with an alcohol content lower than 73.5% can be used when handling the Smokerlyzer® monitors, once hands have dried.
We must stress that more long term testing is required to determine whether or not commonly used hand sanitisers containing alcohol affect the sensors overtime, therefore it is still recommended that the user should use non-alcohol sanitising products where possible.
Alcohol sanitisers containing more than 73.5% alcohol should be avoided due to the lack of testing with regard to the impact it could have on readings.
A device accuracy test should be performed periodically to ensure it is working as intended. This can be done with a known non-smoker who will show readings of <6ppm or a canister of CO in air gas which can be purchased from Bedfont®.
What about the effect of hand sanitiser containing alcohol on the other products?
We are working around the clock to provide you with current and correct information. Please be informed that testing is currently underway for alcohol hand sanitisers and the rest of the Bedfont® breath analysers. Please check back daily for all updates regarding Coronavirus and the Bedfont® products and consumables.
If you wish to review any of the reports mentioned above, please email [email protected].