Respiratory equipment including oxygen concentrators, nebulizers, CPAP and BI-PAP devices are potentially lifesaving tools for many people. Proper care and maintenance is very important for proper functioning of respiratory equipment.
Here, we will discuss general maintenance and proper care of respiratory equipment.
To prevent bacteria growth, the respiratory equipment should be inspected before each use and cleaned as often as necessary. Use rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth or gauze pads to clean the equipment. If needed, dry the equipment with a clean paper towel and throw the towel away. Also clean the equipment after each use to prevent buildup of debris.
For any medical equipment that with filters, inspect once a month to ensure they are still in good condition. This is important even if you dont use the equipment regularly. Filters can deteriorate over time. If you are unsure of the cleaning/replacement schedule for your equipment, check with your manufacturer or distributor for their recommendations.
Before and after cleaning equipment, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly to prevent cross contamination.
Disinfect after each use
Besides keeping it clean, another important aspect of medical equipment maintenance is disinfecting after each use. Equipment, particularly, respirators contain moisture; so there is a possibility of bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc., to grow. There are different disinfecting procedures depending on the equipment you are using. Check with your manufacturer or distributor for more information.
Some equipment need not be disinfected they just need to be cleaned. This will depend on what type of equipment you are using.
Replace the disposable parts
Some parts of the respiratory equipment like the material inside the mask, oxygen tubing, and nasal cannula cannot be safely cleaned and reused. They often need to be disposed after every use. Make sure these parts are replaced before or after each use. Standardizing this process can help ensure that disposable parts are not reused. Check for dirt, cracks or discoloration on the tubing once in a week and replace the tubing it if you notice any potential problems.
Medical equipment should be stored in a clean and dry location so that it is not exposed to dust, direct sunlight, moisture, extreme temperatures or other potentially hazardous forces.
Even when not in use medical equipment can deteriorate over time, make sure that you are regularly inspecting it. If you notice any damaged or defective parts, stop using the equipment and repair or replace the equipment.
Many types of medical equipment need to be serviced by qualified technicians at regular intervals. Make sure you are aware of this schedule so that your equipment stays in great shape for your patients.
Proper care and maintenance of respirators are essential for safe and effective operation of the equipment. Keep your equipment maintained. You will not only save money through longer equipment life, but will also ensure your equipment is safe and effective for your patients.