Masks, cannulae and tubing are very important parts of home oxygen therapy equipment. You must only use masks, tubing and cannulas which we supply.
Relieving irritation and dryness
Masks and cannulae can irritate the nose and skin, especially for people on high flow rates. To relieve skin irritation and prevent dryness use water-based moisturisers on your skin or non-petroleum gels such as KY Jelly for the nose. DO NOT use petroleum based gels or creams such as Vaseline. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist for advice or contact us.
Cannula is available in different shapes and sizes, and you may need a specific type of cannula to accommodate your home oxygen therapy flow rate. Please take note of the cannula type you receive for when you need to order more.
Straight adult cannula and curved adult cannula: these adult nasal cannulae can be used for flow rates of 0 litres per minute up to 4 litres per minute. Nasal cannulae do not come with tubing attached, they are designed to fit directly into the trumpet connection on the tubing.
Curved cannula: these have two slightly curved prongs that go up into the nostrils. The curves should point towards the back of the head to allow the oxygen to flow easily and comfortably.
Straight adult cannula: have two straight prongs that go up the nostrils. There is also a small lip of plastic that sits on top of the lip.
Note: do not place your cannula or mask on upholstery, bedding or clothing. Do not place your cannula or mask into a dishwasher.
Oxygen tubing carries oxygen from the home oxygen therapy cylinder or concentrator machine to the mask or cannula. It is an important piece of home oxygen therapy equipment.
The appropriate length of tubing will be supplied by our Healthcare Technician, taking into account the needs of the home oxygen therapy user and the safest option.
All tubing is anti-crush, meaning that it keeps its shape and is not easily pushed down flat. Check the tubing regularly for any signs of damage such as kinking, flattening or splitting. If you notice any damage with your home oxygen therapy tubing, replace it immediately. Ensure home oxygen therapy tubing does not become trapped, for instance, in furniture or under doors as this will restrict, or even stop the flow of oxygen. Take care to minimise problems which can be caused by pets in your home eg puncturing the tubing. Ensure other people in your home are aware of your home oxygen therapy tubing and equipment so they don’t trip or fall over it. When walking, you may find it easier to drape the tubing over your shoulder.
All tubing features a trumpet connection at the end to fit either the mask or the nasal cannula into.
NOTE: Under no circumstances should the oxygen tubing be totally immersed in water.
We supply a range of connectors that we install to help with oxygen delivery:
- T shaped – used to redirect oxygen into another room usually used when oxygen is piped around the home
- L shaped – used when oxygen is piped around the home to direct oxygen to another room
These are used to connect two pieces of tubing together.
These are used if a patient is quite mobile within the home and tubing may get easily twisted.
Y shaped connector:
This is used when home oxygen therapy is piped around the home to redirect oxygen to another room.
A firebreak is the small white plastic device which is fitted on to the length of tubing. The firebreak cuts off the oxygen supply to a patient so that any fire does not reach the patient and cause damage. The firebreak must stay in your tubing and should not be touched under any circumstances. A firebreak is not included on the tubing for portable home oxygen therapy cylinders.
The blue arrow on the firebreak must always be pointing towards the patient.
We provide one cylinder bag per patient free of charge on the installation of home oxygen therapy ambulatory cylinders. The bag has been designed to fit both the cylinder and the conserver to make it easier for you to carry your ambulatory cylinders.
Cannulae can easily become blocked and masks can become dirty over time, so it is important to keep both masks and cannulae as clean as possible.
Cannulae tips should be cleaned daily with a damp cloth. NEVER immerse your cannula in water. Replace your cannula monthly or on the advice of your Healthcare Professional.
Oxygen masks should be cleaned daily in hot soapy water. Rinsed and thoroughly air dried before use. Non-rebreathe masks must not be immersed in water; to clean them, wipe them daily using a damp cloth.
With regular cleaning, masks will last approximately 3-6 months. You can request new cannulae and masks from your Healthcare Technician or calling us.