Medela Announces New Data Demonstrating that Thopaz+ Digital Chest Drain Improves Safety and Helps Prevent Cross-Contamination During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

▪Findings from an infection control study demonstrate Medela’s Thopaz/Thopaz+ Digital Chest Drainage and Monitoring System effectively blocks small aerosolized viral and bacterial particles

▪The portability of Thopaz/Thopaz+ allows for active therapy and monitoring in temporary care centers and other non-traditional environments, providing surgeons with timely and accurate data to inform patient care as a solution for healthcare professionals to provide safer cardiothoracic drainage

Medela LLC, a global leader in medical vacuum technology, today announced that its Thopaz+ Digital Chest Drainage and Monitoring System* has undergone multiple quantitative tests that demonstrate its filtration system effectively blocks passage of aerosolized viral particles such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. This would effectively mitigate cross-contamination and transmission of infectious aerosols. The filtration found in Thopaz+ can help provide a safeguard for patients and staff.  


“We understand the critical need for a solution like Thopaz+ that can help healthcare professionals provide safer cardiothoracic drainage and reduce cross contamination as well as healthcare-associated infections (HAI), during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” said Melissa Gonzales, RN, BSN, executive vice president of Medela Americas. “With its intuitive, easy-to-use design and filtration capabilities, Thopaz+ was developed to meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals and patients, simplify use while improving health outcomes and reduce costs.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, chest drains have been considered a possible source of aerosol generated particles, contributing to safety concerns for patients and healthcare professionals. To provide health care professionals with a proven solution to mitigate this risk, Thopaz+ filters have undergone repeated quantitative laboratory tests. Thopaz+ has been proven to effectively block the passage of aerosolized viral particles as small as 25 nm, garnering a 99.925 to 99.999% successful filtration rate.1 For reference, SARS-CoV-2 virus is approximately 125 nm in diameter. The equivalent effectiveness of Thopaz+ for filtering aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 particles in a real-world clinical setting is expected to be significantly higher. Medela Thopaz/Thopaz+ Digital Chest Drainage and Monitoring Systems have also been proven to help successfully filter bacterial strains that may contribute to hospital-associated infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Serratia marcescens at 500 nm.


“Despite the pandemic crisis, we have to provide our cancer patients with the best postoperative care while protecting health care professionals and other patients,” said Dr. Andrea Bille, Thoracic Surgeon, Department of Thoracic Surgery, Guy’s Hospital, London. “Thopaz digital drains facilitate early mobilization and recovery but also minimize the risk of aerosolised generated particles preventing the spread of the coronavirus.”

Medela has been a pioneer in suction technology for nearly 60 years and manufactures a suite of medical suction pumps that are essential for the treatment of patients who require hospital or intensive medical care. For information about Thopaz+, visit: and view the video by Dr. Andrea Bille on Chest Drain Management during COVID-19 Pandemic. To learn more about how Medela is aiding COVID-19 efforts, visit the: COVID-19 information hub.


About Thopaz/ Thopaz+

The Thopaz+ Digital Chest Drainage and Monitoring System is clinically proven to shorten hospital stays, improve safety for patients and health care professionals, provide costs savings of $703 per patient, and is more convenient and easier to use compared to conventional chest drains.2 Thopaz+ features:

  • Portability: Thopaz+ is compact and lightweight with a convenient carrying handle. Its compact portability can help support patient recovery and health outcomes by providing uninterrupted drainage in care settings, including those without access to central vacuum.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Thopaz+ provides continuous and objective monitoring of air leaks, fluid drainage, and pressure enabling health professionals to make informed decisions.
  • Safety Filtration: Filtration protects against cross-contamination and transmission of aerosol generated particles. Studies by two independent laboratories show highly effective blockage of aerosol particles laden with viruses even smaller than the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


About Medela LLC
Medela's U.S.-based manufacturing and development facility is headquartered in McHenry, Illinois, with an additional Canadian-based warehouse and service facility in Mississauga, Ontario. Medela Healthcare is a global manufacturer of medical vacuum solutions that are respected and trusted by doctors and healthcare professionals from around the world. Medela Healthcare seeks to improve the lives of patients, doctors and hospital staff through constant innovation and our passion to understand the challenges that patients and clinicians face in their daily lives. Life is precious and needs passionate people ‒ like those at Medela ‒ to provide progressive care. For more information, visit




* Monitoring of fluid drainage, air leak and pressure.
1Increased Challenge Virus Filtration Efficiency, Nelson Labs, USA (test report on file at Medela AG).
2 NICE (an executive non-departmental public body of the Department of Health in the UK) recommends Thopaz+ for managing chest drains.