When we breathe we spend most of our time breathing out. When a cylinder is used with a continuous flow, most of the oxygen is wasted. A conserver cuts out that waste by providing a precise amount of oxygen at the point of breathing in.
A conserver should only be used with portable home oxygen therapy cylinders, and it could make the cylinder last up to three times longer, although this will vary depending on the user’s breathing rate and activity. Patients can only use this device if they use nasal cannula.
Connecting a conserver
- Put the cylinder into the portable carry bag provided
- Put the conserver into the front pocket
- Connect the female end of the coiled tubing to the outlet connector on the cylinder
- Secure the female end with the tube clamp
- Connect the quick connect end of the coiled tube to the cylinder connection on the conserver
- Connect the cannula tubing to the cannula connection on the side of your conserver.
Important advice to inform patients:
Conservers are not suitable for patients under seven years old
Conservers should not be used whilst the patient is sleeping
Tubing should not be shortened
A mask cannot be used with a conserver.
Setting the oxygen supply
- Put the cannula on the patient.
- Turn the flow rate wheel on the conserver to the ordered flow rate.
- Turn the oxygen cylinder onto a flow rate of 4 litres per minute (lpm).
- The patient should then begin breathing through the cannula.
- The cylinder must be set to a flow rate of 4 lpm and the conserver set to the flow rate ordered.
- If the conserver does not seem to be working, the patient must attach the tubing and cannula directly to the cylinder, but adjust the flow rate of the cylinder from 4 lpm to the ordered flow rate.
Turning the supply off
- Slowly turn the On/Off valve on the cylinder clockwise to the off position.
- The patient should continue to breathe through the nasal cannula until they feel no more oxygen coming through (this releases the pressure in the tubing).
- Take the cannula off.
- Turn the flow rate wheel on the conserver to the off position.
- If the cylinder is used without the conserver on another occasion, always remember to set it back to the prescribed flow rate.
Checking your conserver’s battery
With normal use the conserver battery should last over 4 weeks. Always check the battery’s power level before using the conserver.
- Move the flow rate wheel at the top of the conserver to the ‘BAT’ position.
- The battery level light will show how much power is left. This is shown by the following colours:
Green The battery is full
Amber The battery’s level has gone down, but there is no need to change it yet
Red The battery is running low – you should have a spare handy
Flashing red Replace the battery immediately
The battery level light only shows when the flow rate wheel is in the ‘BAT’ position. If the conserver battery runs low and needs to be changed, the red light will flash on any setting. In this case, oxygen will still be received, but it will not last as long.
Important advice to inform patient:
The conserver will be provided with a battery, once this has depleted it is the patient’s responsibility to replace it
Always carry a spare battery
Only use alkaline batteries with a conserver
The use of rechargeable batteries is not recommended.