Effective immediately, we recommend that you suspend all breath tests until the coronavirus pandemic is over. They are elective procedures. There is also a small chance of respiratory cross-contamination during testing.
Here are guidelines for medical personnel operating QuinTron breath test analyzers:
QuinTron medical devices are not sold sterile and are not meant to be cleaned internally. As a precaution, the person operating the analyzer may wear a mask and gloves while doing so. The dust barrier on the front panel of the instrument is a 0.2-micron hydrophilic filter that is not intended to have a bactericidal and viricidal function. We recommend cleaning the outside of the analyzer, especially around the Sample In port, with a disinfectant wipe (such as Lysol, Clorox, etc.) after each use.
If a patient tests positive for the coronavirus, we recommend replacing the entire Patient Sample Drying Tube itself (including the BreathPrep and foam filter plugs used in the drying tube) since this is what is capturing the moisture in the breath. We also recommend replacing the dust barrier on the Sampler In port on the BreathTracker.
If your medical practice is using EasySampler tubes, then the moisture is captured on the side of the tube itself. In this case, we recommend replacing the dust barrier and vial adapter on the AlveoVac and wiping it down with a disinfectant wipe.
If your medical practice has received an EasySampler kit from a patient who has tested positive for coronavirus or is suspected to have it, we recommend that you throw away their kit instead of attempting to analyze it. Have the patient repeat the test after he or she is well.
Always follow the guidelines from your infection control committee. These are the same guidelines and recommendations we follow when a patient has tested positive for influenza.
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 rapidly changes, we will continue to evolve our response to it. This is unchartered territory for many of us. Please remember to be kind and do what you can as individuals to protect what every one of us values above all—one another.
And for those of you out there providing essential services who do not have the option of shutting your doors, we truly appreciate you.