Fighting the Pandemic Takes Preparation

Second wave of COVID-19 is expected

Fighting pandemmic
  • Several studies suggest that a second wave of COVID-19 infections can be expected in the next few months.1,2
  • Re-emergence in different countries such as Korea, China and Germany has been reported.

Mortality of COVID-19

Fighting pandemic

Current development and prediction in the U.S. show a significant increase of mortality due to COVID-19.

Lack of pharmaceutical intervention options means fast response capability is required

There are no immunity, vaccination or established treatment options

There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies and are protected from a second infection3


The costs in lives and financial values are massive.4

“In the coming months, we plan to keep around 20 per cent of our beds with respiratory assistance free, and we want to be able to free up a further 20 per cent at 72 hours notice… if a second wave comes.”7

Gerald GassPresident of the German Hospitals Society (DKG)

“The new reality is that we will need to rapidly increase ICU bed capacity within 2 or 3 weeks’ notice. We need to prepare, need to plan, need to stock the hardware that we need such as ventilators, suction pumps and monitors.”

Dr. Stephen ColeConsultant in Intensive Care Medicine at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Scotland

Surge capacities are key

Fighting pandemic
  • Organisations such as the WHO, CDC of the US and  others provide guidelines and tools to help plan for surge capacities.
  • The WHO – Recommendation of biomedical equipment for Severe acute respiratory infection treatment (SARI) suggests, among other equipment, to use electrical suction pumps with filters and accessories.8
  • The NHS recommends to use mobile suction pumps per patient for infectious disease units.9

The critical role of airway suctioning

As COVID-19 patients suffer from acute infections of the lungs, airway suctioning becomes a lifesaving procedure. It decreases the risk of lung infections, prolonged hypoxia, and pooling of secretions.10,11

Every bed requires suction

Fighting pandemic
  • The CDC suggests that alternate care facilities have a portable aspirator available for each bed.12
  • This corresponds with a CHEST journal publication stating that each treatment space requires an available vacuum source for airway care.13

Uncertain times demand flexibility

In a time of fear of viral spread and the requirement for a fast response, mobile medical vacuum delivers.

Central Vacuum System


  • Space saving

To consider:

  • Unable to use for alternate care facilities
  • Limited number of connections: hard to use for surge capacities in existing facilities
  • In case of overflow: contamination of whole system
Fighting pandemic

Mobile Suction pumps


  • Versatile, mobile for surge capacities  as and where needed
  • Reduce risk of cross-contamination  (esp. for infectious disease units8,9
  • Can be stored and repurposed for other clinical uses and events as required

To consider:

  • Space


Medela mobile medical suction machines help to surge airway suction capacity as and where needed:

  • Powerful, high-vacuum suction for removal of maximum fluid
  • Reliable and proven technology for high endurance with over 50 years of experience in medical vacuum
  • Can be used in ICUs, on wards, alternate care facilities and nursing homes for the approved indications

Want to know more about how Medela supports Healthcare Professionals?

Visit our COVID-19 HUB


1 1918 Influenza: the Mother of All Pandemics, Jeffery K. Taubenberger and David M. Morens, Emerging Infectious Diseases,, Vol. 12, No. 1, January 2006

2 Resolve to Save Lives,published data, as cited in “A world at risk, annual report on global preparedness for health emergencies“, by the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, September 2019

3, accessed on May 14, 2020

4 On the global trends and spread of the COVID-19 outbreak: preliminary assessment of the potential relation between location-specific temperature and UV index, Sachin S. Gunthe et al, April 2020,

5 Rapid Risk Assessment: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the EU/EEA and the UK – ninth update, accessed May 14th 2020

6 ‘Surge Capacity Logistics: Care of the Critically Ill and Injured during Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement’, by S. Einav, et al., CHEST, 2014; 146, p 21S

7 Tiptoeing back to normality, Germany gears up for 2nd COVID-19 wave,, accessed on May 14th, 2020

8 Severe Acute Respiratory Infections Treatment Centre, March 2020


10 ‘Airway Management: Preventing Lung Infections via Airway Suction’, by Phyllis Hanlon, RT magazine, May-June 2019, p. 12

11 ‘Surgical Airway Suctioning’ by Virteeka Sinha; Brian M. Fitzgerald, February 2020, StatPearls Publishing LLC,

12 ‘Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force Alternate Care Site Toolkit, 2nd edition, April 2020,, p 150

13 ‘Surge Capacity Logistics: Care of the Critically Ill and Injured during Pandemics and Disasters: CHEST Consensus Statement’, by S. Einav, et al., CHEST, 2014; 146, p 24S