The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Many people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and other types of chronic lung disease have low blood oxygen levels. Often, their doctor prescribes oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy helps people improve their blood oxygen levels and maintain a better blood oxygen level. If you use oxygen therapy, it’s important to keep your oxygen equipment clean and to practice safe use. In this article, we’ll give you some simple tips to help you keep your oxygen equipment clean. Keeping your oxygen equipment clean helps to ensure that you receive uninterrupted, clean oxygen therapy.
Keep the Outside of Your Oxygen Equipment Clean
As with anything, the outside of your oxygen equipment can gather dust and dirt. Before you begin to clean the outside of your unit, be sure to unplug the machine from the wall.
To keep the outside of your machine clean, use a slightly damp towel and mild detergent, such as Dawn dish soap. Gently and carefully clean the outside of the machine and use a dry towel to dry it off. Remember, you don’t want to submerge your machine or use a soaking wet towel. Instead, use the slightly damp towel to wipe it off. Make sure the machine is completely dry before turning it on for use.
Clean the Filter
Similar to the outside of your machine, you have to keep the filter clean, too. The filter cleans the air that is coming into the machine. The filter helps catch dust, pollen, allergens, mold, dirt and mold. So, it gets dirty and needs to be cleaned. The general guidelines suggest cleaning the filter at least once a month. However, sometimes additional cleaning may be required.
To clean your filter, always turn off your oxygen machine. Once the machine is off, you can remove the filter. If you are unsure of where to locate your filter, check your machine’s owner manual.
Fill a bowl with water and gentle detergent, such as Dawn. Carefully, place the filter into the bowl of soapy water and scrub it gently with a washcloth. This will remove any extra dirt or dust particles. Rinse the filter under gentle running water to remove any remaining soap. Set the filter on a clean, dry towel and let it dry completely before putting it back into the machine.
Nasal Cannulas Need to Stay Clean, Too
Nasal cannulas need to be kept clean. With proper care, you can make your nasal cannulas last. It’s also important to check with your doctor about how often he or she wants you to use new tubing and nasal cannulas. Always follow your doctor’s and the machine’s manufacturer instructions for best oxygen machine use practices.
In general, you can clean and reuse nasal cannulas for about two months. After that point, it’s time to replace old cannulas with new ones. Plan ahead, so you’re never out of new oxygen tubing or nasal cannulas.
To clean nasal cannulas, most places recommend washing them once a week or as needed in 10 parts water and one part vinegar. Again, use a small amount of a mild detergent, like Dawn. Rinse the nasal cannulas thoroughly and hang them to dry. Allow them to dry completely before use. If you have been sick, it’s best to replace the nasal cannulas and tubing with new ones. In addition, if you’re ever unsure about what to do on how to keep your oxygen equipment clean, call the manufacturer or your doctor for assistance.
Keep your Oxygen Equipment Clean and Stay Healthier
When you keep your oxygen equipment clean and have plenty of back tubing and nasal cannulas, it gives you peace of mind. Viruses and illnesses can make people with chronic lung diseases have a flare-up. So, doing everything you can to stay healthy is important. Along with keeping your oxygen equipment clean, remember to see your doctor regularly even if you’re feeling well.
Your doctor prescribed oxygen therapy to you, so you can receive enough oxygen. Now that you know how to keep your oxygen equipment clean, you’ll be able to keep your machine running in top shape. If you or a loved one has COPD emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or another chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment options, contact us at (800) 729-3065.