Some of this stuff is common sense and I have seen the same instructions from a couple of sources. However there are two exceptions: The place I got my stationary concentrator from advised it was okay to use longer lengths of hose and so no problems if I hooked up a 75 ft line. ( adjusting the oxygen if there was a fall off due to distance)
Given I was not using humidifier bottle they did no see a need to regularly replace the long hose as long as it was in good condition.
------------------------------------ Care and Cleaning of Your Oxygen Equipment By Kathi MacNaughton—December 27, 2017
Supplemental oxygen therapy is one of the most basic treatments for people with COPD, especially as the disease progresses. If you or your loved one use oxygen, you are probably aware of the safety precautions, but do you know how to care for and clean the oxygen equipment?
If not, you are not alone! Honestly, I think I’d been caring for my mother, who was on continuous supplemental oxygen, for at least a year before anyone mentioned that we should be cleaning and changing out tubing on a regular basis.
Now, as a retired nurse, you would think I should have been aware of the need to do this. However, that first year of caregiving was a rough one. My mom was in and out of the hospital 5 times in 10 months, with 2 broken hips, blood clots, pneumonia and a compression fracture of her spine. Needless to say, there were lots of things to worry about and something as seemingly mundane as caring for the oxygen tubing took a back seat to more pressing concerns.
Thankfully, one of the oxygen delivery people who came to our house regularly did finally go over the steps to cleaning and caring for the equipment. So, let me share those tips with you.
Cleaning the Nasal Cannula or Mask
Most people on supplemental oxygen use a nasal cannula, but a mask is another option. Whatever you use, you should switch out to a new cannula or mask every 2 to 4 weeks or so. Meanwhile, it’s smart to have a spare set on hand, in case of damage or wear and tear to your current equipment. You can also use the spare set while washing your current one.
It’s also a good idea to wash the nasal cannula or mask at least once a week. Wash the cannula/mask in warm, soapy water and then rinse it thoroughly with a solution of 10 parts water and one part vinegar. (Vinegar will kill any bacteria, but will not affect the plastic tubing.) Finally, rinse well with hot water and hang it to dry.
When it is dry, you can then reattach it and start using it once again. If you notice the cannula tubing becoming plugged up from mucus, you can wash it more often than weekly. You may also need to clean your cannula more frequently if you have a cold or the flu.
Caring for the Oxygen Tubing
Whether you use compressed oxygen gas, liquid oxygen or a concentrator, a long length of tubing connects the oxygen source to your nasal cannula or mask. This tubing should never be more than 25 feet long in order to get the proper dose of oxygen to your airways. You may need to relocate your tank or concentrator to a central location in your home that allows your 25-foot tubing to reach wherever needed.
Most experts suggest to replace this tubing only once every 6 to 12 months. You don’t need to clean it, but you should inspect it regularly for cracking or wear and tear. If you have pets, be sure they haven’t been chewing on the tubing. Care & Cleaning of Humidifier Bottles
If the prescribed oxygen flow rate is 4L/min or greater, it can be very drying to the nasal passages. In these cases, a humidifier bottle attached to the oxygen delivery device can help prevent irritation.
If you’re using a humidifier bottle, you will need to clean it regularly, similarly to the nasal cannula tubing:
Wash it with warm, soapy water. Next, soak it in the vinegar and water solution described above. Rinse with hot water and let dry. Refill with distilled water. (Gallon jugs can be bought cheaply at your local grocery.) Reattach the bottle, making sure the lid is securely screwed on.
Caring for Your Delivery Device
Oxygen can be delivered in the form of compressed air, liquid or converted from room air by a concentrator. Oxygen tanks usually do not require special care, but check with your oxygen delivery service to be sure.
Concentrators may require occasional cleaning. Wipe the outside cabinet down once a week or so with a damp cloth and mild dish soap. Never spray any kind of cleaner onto the machine.
If your concentrator has an external filter, this may need to be rinsed out weekly. Check with your oxygen company for the exact recommendations for your model. If filter cleaning is needed, it can be rinsed with warm water and mild liquid dish detergent. After that, dry the filter and inspect for fraying, crumbling, tears and holes. Replace the filter if any damage is found. In Summary
With the proper care and cleaning of your oxygen equipment, you can help prevent infection and other issues with getting the right amount of oxygen to your airways. This care should only take a few minutes a week, but can make a big difference in your quality of life.
Just to add, while it might not be in everyone's budget, nor may everyone be able to use a cheaper style of cannula or mask, but if one will do a bit of browsing - there are quite a few deals out there for these items in bulk. I have 30 to 40 of each length of cannulas that cost me aprox 20 cents a piece. Masks which I use very infrequently are 75 cents each. So I don't clean. I just periodically throw the old away and grab a new one.
However, and it is a BIG however for many (Smile), I am not very particular about prong styles, and can use common ("off the rack") masks. My only requirement is soft hose.
I am also very good at begging off delivery people. Grin.
the 02 supplier that I use charges 1 fee per month (my medicare pays 80% or that) and it includes all i want of anything i need pertaining to 02. i get a home concentrator & choice of portable 02 (POC or tanks) & all the supplies i want = hoses, canula's, swivels, water bottles, water bottle lines or traps, filters etc per month that you want.
I change my cannula every week on both my home & travel 02. I like to use 10' lines with swivels (50 ft max i was told) & I change my hoses every month. I use the water bottle in the winter & I change the 'water trap' & bottle hose every month. It may sound like a bit much, but it seems like i stay healthier when i change at least the cannula every week (& why not, it's free & the darn thing is up my nose, blowing air & ''germs" into my lungs 24/7)
I chose tanks as i go out in field on ATV too much to worry about battery & dust/dirt in a POC. So they bring me all the tanks i want each month at no charge i also keep 3 to 4 big E tanks on hand in case I don't have electricity or for other emergency. i like the "c" tanks for my fanny pack my portable they give me free fanny pack (or back pack), but "B" tanks for my 'purse' for going into town; so they bring me a couple dozen each month or however many i think i will need (summer i use more than winter as i go out more in summer).
The person who delivers my stuff every month said she tries to tell her customers all the time that hoses & cannulas are free & to change them often, but people don't seem to 'get it'.
No one told me this when I cared for my mother in her final months & i still feel horrible that she used 1-50' line & 2-cannula's (1 for home & 1 for big E-tank)for 5 months!!! (even when she got a bloody nose i washed the darn cannula out as no one told me they were free!)
If you are 'rationing' your supplies, you might ask your supplier if you have the all you need/want option.
oh i just looked it up & medicare pays to have them supply you with what you need!! so if you are using medicare part B to pay for 02 you should get all you need each month
I too was shocked to discover how many don't realize how much is "free" from their provider for the asking. The only issue I found was at one time 'soft cannulas' were hard to get. As for various prongs types and sizes, if you had a good description the provider is quite willing to get them for you - might take a few weeks. Now days it seems that 'soft cannulas' have become the "standard" so that is no longer an issue. Like I said I have a large inventory of soft cannulas that I bought cheap, but probably will never buy again now that my provider has them.
Unfortunately not all providers are as good as the ones Jarca and I have. I have heard stories of people having very different negative experiences. IF that is a problem then you may have to seek out another provider or seek alternatives.
Also I have heard people complain about their providers and their own little private little wars with them and the delivery people. In the case of the delivery person - I heartily suggest patients to stop complaining to them.
No matter how bad a jerk your delivery personnel may be, nor what might be going on between you and their bosses. When they arrive, suck it up and pretend they are your best friend ever. Wrangle out their birthdays and even the birthdays of the spouse. Have a tiny gift available, or at least a good word for every event. No reason to post why. Smile