Use of mouthpieces

In order to prevent the equipment becoming a source of infection for subsequent patients to contract, there needs to be a barrier between the patient and the equipment.

single-patient use mouthpieces

reusable mouthpieces

those with a barrier filter

those with a one way valve

Barrier filters have been used in ventilation equipment for many years to reduce infection risks but they have only recently been implemented into lung function mouthpieces.

There are two types of barrier filters used in mouthpieces:

One uses multiple layers of material to trap particles but this type does impede airflow and absorbs moisture which affects resistance

The second uses static electricity to capture water vapour and micro-organisms without the need for numerous layers of materials

Bacterial filters have been shown to trap 99.9% of micro-organisms up to flow rates of 750 litres per minute. However, there are no filters that are efficient enough to eliminate the need to clean the equipment beyond the filter.

Reusable mouthpieces must be cleaned appropriately to remove extraneous materials such as saliva and lipstick, then disinfected to remove micro-organisms and finally dried thoroughly to remove water marks. Disinfection methods depend on the material of the mouthpiece; chlorine based chemical disinfection or the use of a standard dishwasher is sufficient for plastic or rubber mouthpieces.

Where only an expiratory manoeuvre is required, such as in a peak flow meter or expiratory forced vital capacity measurement, a disposable mouthpiece with a one way valve allowing only expiration may be sufficient to prevent cross infection.

Mark as Understood

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