Ventilator-Assisted Living©

Winter 2002, Vol. 16, No. 4

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Interfaces, Ventilators, and Supplies

Mirage® Vista™ is the latest nasal mask available from ResMed Inc. It features a unique “one snap elbow” and “set and forget headgear” that helps to position and fit the mask, eliminating the need for disassembly and readjustment after each use.

Pre-Owned Ventilators. HealthCare Dynamics, Inc., of Lawrenceville, Georgia, buys pre-owned ventilators and bi-level units that are no longer needed, and then sells them to home health care agencies. They do not sell to individuals directly.

Reusable rubber suction catheters. Many people who use tracheostomy positive pressure ventilation prefer reusable red rubber tracheal suction catheters (Bard Medical Division of C.R. Bard, Inc. instead of disposable plastic catheters because they cause less irritation and are less expensive. E.A.Oppenheimer, MD, advises on cleaning them with soap and water after each use. “Soaking in hydrogen peroxide can be used if there is stubborn mucus sticking to the inside of the catheter. Some people use a diluted vinegar solution to decontaminate the catheter, similar to the method used for ventilator circuits. After washing and rinsing well, the catheter is air dried, and then kept covered with a dry clean towel. This is called the ‘clean technique’ rather than the sterile technique. In my experience, this works well and lower respiratory infections do not occur often.” Ask your local home health dealer for these reusable catheters.

Pulse Oximeters. In order to monitor oxygen saturations and be alert to hypoventilation, especially during upper respiratory tract infections, it might be advisable for ventilator users to invest in a finger pulse oximeter. There are many on the market, but the Onyx® 9500, manufactured by Nonin, Inc., is popular. The Onyx costs about $400 and is available through Aeromedix and home health care dealers. A doctor’s prescription must accompany the order.

Nasal-Aire®, manufactured by InnoMed Technologies,Inc. and distributed by Medical Industries America, Inc. is a low-profile interface for bilevel and CPAP use, available in five sizes.

photo of Ron Mills wearing the Nasal-Aire.Ron Mills, who has ALS, wearing the Nasal-Aire®.

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