Electrostatic Filters to Reduce COVID-19 Spread in Bubble CPAP: An in vitro Study of Safety and Efficacy

Jonathan W. Davis, J. Jane Pillow, Matthew N. Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Bubble CPAP may be used in infants with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Electrostatic filters may reduce cross infection. This study aims to determine if including a filter in the bubble CPAP circuit impacts stability of pressure delivery. Methods: A new electrostatic filter was placed before (pre) or after (post) the bubble CPAP generator, or with no filter (control) in an in vitro study. Pressure was recorded at the nasal interface for 18 h (6 L/min; 7 cm H2O) on 3 occasions for each configuration. Filter failure was defined as pressure >9 cm H2O for 60 continuous minutes. The filter was weighed before and after each experiment. Results: Mean (SD) time to reach the fail point was 257 (116) min and 525 (566) min for filter placement pre- and post-CPAP generator, respectively. Mean pressure was higher throughout in the pre-generator position compared to control. The filter weight was heavier at end study in the pre- compared to the post-generator position. Conclusions: Placement of the filter at the pre-generator position in a bubble CPAP circuit should be avoided due to unstable mean pressure. Filters are likely to become saturated with water over time. The post-generator position may accommodate a filter, but regular pressure monitoring and early replacement are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736–741
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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