The FDA is urging healthcare providers to use ventilator splitters for COVID-19 patients only when there is no alternative.
The agency released a letter to providers asking them to consider non-invasive ventilation such as high-flow nasal oxygen or non-invasive positive pressure ventilation before resorting to a ventilator splitter. If a ventilator splitter is the only option, the agency said clinicians should limit sharing of ventilation to two patients with similar ventilatory requirements and only for up to 48 hours.
The recommendations are based on clinicians’ experience and research conducted since the pandemic began. “These activities greatly increased the understanding of the known and potential risks and benefits of ventilator splitters in a very short time,” the agency said.
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