Various bacteria filters are used, especially with respirators. These filters can also be called bacterial viral filters. Filtering efficiency is over 99%. Since viruses are smaller than bacteria, the efficiency of filtering bacteria is greater than the efficiency of filtering viruses. Filtering efficiency increases in direct proportion to the quality of the products. The term bacterial filter covers a wide range of products. Various bacteria filters are available that can be used in different types of medical devices. There are also filters suitable for patients who do not use devices. It can be used in patients with a tracheostomy cannula or intubated, as well as in people who are connected to a respiratory device such as a mechanical ventilator. It is preferred in devices such as surgical aspirators or spirometers to prevent bacteria, viruses, dust and liquid from entering the device. The purpose of bacteria filters used in patients is to prevent bacteria and viruses from reaching the patient's respiratory tract. There are also varieties that provide heat and humidity, called HME (heat and moisture exchanger). While performing the task of filtering bacteria and viruses, they also provide the heat and humidity needed by the patient's respiratory tract.
If breathing cannot be done naturally, medical intervention is required. If breathing does not continue in its normal course despite the intervention, support is provided with medical products or respirators. If the respiratory device support applied through the mask, which is called non-invasive, is not sufficient, invasive applications (by entering the body with an apparatus such as a cannula) are intervened. Mechanical ventilators can be used in invasive applications. The connection of these devices to the patient is made with hoses called breathing circuit. Bacterial filters are also used to reduce the risk of infection. Bacterial filters are available in different features and sizes. The type of filter should be determined by considering the patient's age, weight and existing diseases. Filters can be attached only 1 piece to the patient or only to the part close to the device, as well as 2 pieces close to both the patient and the device. This situation may vary depending on the characteristics of the mechanical ventilator used.
There are different sizes and sizes of bacterial filters used in patients. Different products are used according to the weight of the patient in infants, children and adults. Since the filters do not allow the passage of bacteria and viruses, they reduce the risk of infection in the patient. The filter part of the ones with HME is thicker than the others. In this part, there is a filter that keeps the heat and moisture generated by the patient's breathing. The heat and humidity needed by the patient in the respiratory tract are provided here with each breath.
Bacterial filters ensure that both respirators and patients are protected from the risk of infection. It is generally recommended that the filters be changed daily. The structure of the lungs is moist. For this reason, the air breathed by patients using tracheostomy cannula should be warmed and humidified. Under normal conditions, air heated and humidified through the nose and mouth is not possible in patients with tracheostomy. Whether they can breathe with the device or spontaneously, patients with tracheostomy take the cold and dry ambient air directly into their lungs. HME bacteria filters, on the other hand, provide the warm and humid air that the patient needs. Thus, the amount of secretion, the need for aspiration and the risk of infection are reduced.
It is important to have spares of the filters used by the patient for emergencies. Although affordable and simple products, they are seriously vital.
Bacteria filters can be used with mechanical ventilators as well as with oxygen devices. Sometimes it can be inserted directly into the tracheostomy cannula without any device. Filters used with oxygen devices are called “t-tube bacteria filters”. One side of these filters, which has a different design compared to the others, is connected to the tracheostomy cannula, while the other side is connected to the oxygen cannula. T-tube bacteria filters are HME featured.
If the HME bacteria filter is used with the mechanical ventilator device, an external heating and humidifier is usually not needed. An external heating humidifier may become necessary in cases where the heat and humidity provided by the HME filter is insufficient. When the HME bacteria filter is used simultaneously with the heating humidifier device, the life of the filter is shortened. It may have to be changed several times a day.
The duration of use of the bacterial filters used in the patients was determined as 1 day. Families looking after patients at home can use the filters for 2-4 days due to economic reasons. Filters should be changed frequently in patients with heavy secretions. If not replaced, it can become clogged and prevent the patient's breathing. Bacterial filters also prevent secretion from the patient to go to the device. The secretion cannot pass through the filter and is retained. If the patient is connected to the respirator, the bacteria filter is used in the tubing close to the patient. If necessary, it can also be attached to the part close to the device.
Bacterial filters attached to spirometers (SFT devices) are disposable. A new filter must be used for each new patient. Filters in surgical aspirators should be replaced at least once a month. In addition, bacteria filters are used for similar purposes in some of the other medical devices. These filters should be renewed periodically in accordance with the instructions for use.