The U.S. FDA is informing healthcare providers and healthcare facilities about up-to-date information concerning multiplexing ventilator tubing connectors, also known as ventilator splitters, in situations in which no alternatives for invasive ventilatory support are available.

Although the FDA has not received any adverse event reports related to the use of ventilator splitters authorized for emergency use during the COVID-19 pandemic, recent literature describes risks that may be associated with using certain ventilator splitters. Based on this information, the FDA is providing information about ways to reduce risk and certain features that are associated with better performance.

Considerations for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers and facilities should review the considerations listed below:

  • Consider non-invasive ventilation such as high flow nasal oxygen or non-invasive positive pressure ventilation as a first option prior to using an authorized ventilator splitter.
  • If invasive ventilation using an authorized ventilator splitter is the only option:
  • The recent literature indicates that ventilator splitters that incorporate these features may reduce certain risks:
    • One-way valves in the breathing circuit
    • Flow restrictors or pressure regulators at each inspiratory limb of the circuit
    • Individual positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) valves
    • Inspiratory and expiratory tidal volume sensors
    • Pressure sensors

For more information, visit FDA