eNews May 6, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

Decontaminating respirators

OSHA has issued guidance to healthcare facilities forced to reuse filtering facepiece respirators. If decontamination is necessary, OSHA says available research suggests the following methods offer the most promise: vaporous hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, and moist heat (e.g., using water heated in an oven). Hospitals should AVOID autoclaving, dry heat, isopropyl alcohol, soap, dry microwave irradiation, chlorine bleach, disinfectant wipes, and ethylene oxide.

‘Remarkable’ results from high-flow nasal cannulas

Doctors at the University of Chicago Medicine report “truly remarkable” results using high-flow nasal cannulas rather than ventilators and intubation to treat some COVID-19 patients. A team from UChicago Medicine’s emergency room took dozens of COVID-19 patients who were in respiratory distress and gave them HFNCs instead of putting them on ventilators. The patients all fared extremely well, and only one required intubation after 10 days.

Tariff exclusions requested

The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) has asked the U.S. Trade Representative to grant exclusions from tariffs on “parts and components, as well as finished products” needed to treat COVID-19 patients. The list includes sump assemblies for vaporization, for use in respiratory care and anesthesia systems; solenoid valves (to control the flow of gas), for use in respiratory care and anesthesia systems; and control valves (to control the flow of gas) for artificial breathing circuits, for use in respiratory care and anesthesia systems.

Federalize the medical supply chain?

Senate Democrats unveiled a bill on April 29 to federalize the medical supply chain and increase the production of needed items, such as protective equipment for health workers and testing supplies. The legislation would establish a new executive officer to oversee the production of supplies, who would issue reports every week on the supplies that are needed in the fight against the coronavirus. The officer would issue purchase orders under the Defense Production Act for those needed supplies and oversee their distribution. 

Respiratory muscle stimulator

The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) for the emergency use of Liberate Medical’s VentFree Respiratory Muscle Stimulator, intended to reduce disuse atrophy of the abdominal wall muscles, which may reduce the number of days of ventilator support in adult patients who require mechanical ventilation. Use of the device is limited until successful weaning or for no more than six weeks, whichever comes first.