Using supplemental oxygen is a mixed bag. It is wonderful because it gives us the oxygen we need to keep our body healthy and to stay alive. It is hard due to many reasons I shared in a previous column, including dealing with the tubing.
I’ve discovered a few tricks over the last 3½ years of using supplemental oxygen that make wrestling with the tubing a little easier. It’s my pleasure to share them with you.
I always love taking out a new roll of oxygen tubing. It is fresh and new, with no kinks … yet. The downside is that it is hard to get the coils out of the tubing, which makes it a tripping hazard. Here’s a trick I learned to make it stay flat.
- Take the tubing out of the plastic bag and put it in a mesh laundry bag (the kind you use to wash delicate items in your washer).
- Put the bag and 3-4 towels in your dryer, and set the heat at low.
- Run the dryer for 10 minutes and take out the laundry bag.
- Remove the tubing from the bag. It will be a little warm.
- Take the tubing and stretch it out. You can do this with another person or by yourself. Make sure you don’t let either end touch the floor, to avoid germs.
I made a video to show you how to do this. It works great. The tubing will lie flat on the ground, and no more tripping!
Most oxygen companies provide you with a solid plastic connector that joins your tubing to your cannula. This does the job, but it doesn’t help with the tubing getting easily tangled. Ask your oxygen provider if it has swivel connectors instead. If it doesn’t, you can buy them online. The kind I use is $5 for two. They help the tubing not get so tangled. I show you what they look like in the tubing video.
As your oxygen needs increase, you may need to connect two tanks or concentrators to give you the amount of oxygen you need. In the video, I show you how I hook two liquid oxygen tanks together to dispense 8 liters per minute of oxygen. Each of my tanks only delivers 6 LPM, so by hooking them together, I can go as high as 12 LPM. The connectors I use are $12 for five.
I hope these tips help to make using oxygen tubing a little easier.
I’d love to hear from you
What tips have helped you to make using supplemental oxygen a little easier? We have so much we can learn from one another.
Please leave a comment below, and share with those who could benefit via email or on social media. We’re in this together!
Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.