How to Save Home Oxygen Concentrators From Any Infection?November 9, 2022
If you are someone who is on oxygen therapy at home and uses home oxygen concentrators, then there are certain things you need to be careful of. For instance, you need to take care of your oxygen concentrator at home to avoid any infections. In this post, we will figure out some solutions to avoid infections in home oxygen concentrators.
Disinfection Activities For Oxygen Concentrators
The patients receiving higher oxygen flows could need more rigorous breathing equipment management and additional cleaning procedures.
When using a refillable humidifier bottle, distilled water is frequently used as the moisture source when further humidification is required. Due to the lack of a preservative, distilled water may also be a source of potentially harmful organisms like germs and mold. Date the distilled water when it is opened if the shelf life is unknown (i.e., there is no “use by” date on the container). After opening and in between uses, you might want to store the distilled water in the refrigerator and use a 30-day discard window.
When patients or caregivers “top out” the humidifier bottle with distilled water, it can lead to compliance problems. Teach the patient to swap out their distilled water every day. The humidifier bottle should be emptied, washed inside and out with soap and water, disinfected, rinsed with hot water, and then filled with distilled water.
The humidifier container should be washed daily with a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar as a disinfectant, according to certain manufacturers’ recommendations for use. After cleaning and disinfecting the bottle’s interior, stay away from touching the lid to avoid contamination.
Nasal cannula storage can be a challenge for patients transitioning to portable oxygen or pro-renal home oxygen therapy. When patients fail to properly clean the nasal cannula after usage, the prongs frequently become contaminated (i.e., by leaving the nasal cannula on the floor, furniture, bed linens, etc.).
The patient then inserts the contaminated nasal cannula back into their nostrils, potentially spreading harmful organisms onto the mucosal membranes within their nasal passages and increasing their chance of contracting a respiratory infection. Inform the patient on how to keep the nasal cannula out of direct contact with surfaces that can be contaminated when storing it between usages.
Place the “in-use” nasal cannula on a clean surface, inside an open, clean container, in an open plastic bag, or keep it someplace that prevents contact with surfaces.
Replace worn oxygen therapy equipment (such as a nasal cannula, oxygen tubing, a water trap, and extension tubing) with fresh, sterile equipment as directed by the manufacturer. Change the nasal cannula every two weeks if the manufacturer has not indicated a frequency or more frequently if it is contaminated or breaks down (e.g., becomes clogged with respiratory secretions).
If a water trap is positioned in front of the oxygen tubing, make sure to check it every day for water and empty it as necessary. If necessary, replace the oxygen tubing more frequently than once a month, including the water trap.
Cabinets and filters for home oxygen concentrators are occasionally found in homes covered with dust. Teach the patient or caregiver how to clean the oxygen concentrator’s exterior with a moderately moist cloth, preferably concurrently with cleaning the external filter.
Never spray the cleaning agent straight onto the surface of the concentrator; instead, apply it to the towel first, then wipe the cabinet. Depending on the conditions in the home environment, occasionally check an oxygen concentrator’s exterior filter for dust and particle accumulation. Remove the filter, wash it with soap and water, rinse it, let it air dry, and then replace it at least once a week.
Last but not least, a discussion on hand hygiene is necessary for any essay on infection prevention and control. Teach patients and their caregivers how to properly wash their hands before and after using any respiratory therapy equipment.
Assess the patient’s knowledge as well as that of their caregivers constantly. To keep the patient healthy and in the place they prefer—their home—intensify these infection prevention and control measures. Following these measures will help you receive supplemental oxygen through home oxygen concentrators in a healthy way.