• Melita Ball

May 8 2020 Blog Post

This article is from the FDA Website.

Medical Devices and the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for regulating medical devices used to diagnose, prevent and treat COVID-19, such as diagnostic tests, ventilators, and personal protective equipment (PPE) -- including surgical masks, face shields, respirators, gowns, and gloves.

The FDA is committed to ensuring that patients and health care providers have timely and continued access to high-quality diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices to respond effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Vitro Diagnostic Tests:

COVID-19 Tests, Including Antibody Tests

In vitro diagnostics are tests performed on samples taken from the human body, such as swabs of mucus from inside the nose or back of the throat or blood taken from a finger prick or drawn by a phlebotomist. In vitro diagnostics can detect diseases or other conditions and can be used to monitor a person's overall health to help cure, treat, or prevent diseases. Patients, as well as their physicians, depend on the FDA to ensure that the in vitro diagnostics they use to make medical decisions are accurate, reliable, and clinically meaningful.

On February 4, 2020, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that there is a public health emergency and that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Rapid detection of COVID-19 cases in the United States requires wide availability of diagnostic testing to control the emergence of this rapidly spreading, severe illness.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

Respirators, Surgical Masks, Gowns, Gloves, and More

Personal protective equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, helmets, gloves, face shields, goggles, surgical masks, respirators, and other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or help prevent wearer exposure to infection or illness. PPE is commonly used in health care settings such as hospitals, doctor's offices, and clinical labs, as well as veterinary hospitals, food production facilities, and food service settings. When used properly, PPE acts as a barrier between infectious materials (such as viral and bacterial contaminants) and your skin, mouth, nose, or eyes (mucous membranes). The barrier provided by the PPE has the potential to block transmission of contaminants from blood, body fluids, or respiratory secretions when used properly.

PPE may also protect patients who are at high risk for contracting infections through a surgical procedure or who have a medical condition, such as an immunodeficiency, from being exposed to substances or potentially infectious material brought in by visitors and health care workers. When used properly and with other infection control practices such as hand-washing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes, PPE minimizes the spread of infection from one person to another. Effective use of PPE includes properly removing and disposing of contaminated PPE to prevent exposing both the wearer and other people to infection. The FDA recognizes that the need for PPE, such as surgical masks, surgical and isolation gowns, surgical suits, and medical gloves may outpace the supply available to health care organization during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the FDA is recommending conservation strategies for use by health care organizations and personnel.


A continuous ventilator is a device intended to mechanically control or assist patient breathing by delivering a predetermined percentage of oxygen in the breathing gas. The FDA recognizes that the need for ventilators, ventilator accessories, and other respiratory devices may outpace the supply available to health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the FDA is recommending conservation strategies for use by health care organizations and personnel. Thoughts? Please comment below …


Melita Ball CEO and Principal Consultant

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