Right from the Manufacturer’s Mouth: How to Clean Oxygen Concentrators at Hospital?

The Oxygen Concentrator for hospital needs regular cleaning both inside and outside of the device. The care instructions are different for both cleanings.

However, the one instruction that everyone should always follow is that the water should be properly disposed of after use. The hospital standards are applicable when discarding the patient used tubing, water tubing, and mask/nose piece.

The following sections elaborate on the cleaning and maintenance of the oxygen concentrators in detail. 

Preparation for Cleaning

Move the unit/s away from the medical/hospital ward and utilize another space. When cleaning the exterior of the unit/s, make sure to switch off the device.

The water used for cleaning the units, especially the interior, is sterile water that is easily available at pharmacies. Make sure to dry out each and every one of the water-containing parts in the units. Contaminated water can introduce Legionnaires disease.

Cleaning the Interior of Oxygen Concentrator for Hospital Use

For the cleaning of the device’s interior, the manufacturers suggest the following use-

  1. Take 1% caustic soda solution and set it to heat and boil for about half an hour.
  2. Swipe the inside of the cylinder clean with a round steel brush.
  3. Clean the cylinder with water.

Manufacturers also suggest that the stationary oxygen concentrators for the hospital be closed every day for a thorough clean-up of the machine. These three steps allow easy maintenance of oxygen concentrators from the first day.

It is recommended to do the following cycle at least once after every use of the stationary oxygen concentrator at the hospital.

  1. Pour water into the extraction concentrator. 
  2. Let the water heat up and go round for up to half an hour.
  3. End the cycle to allow for the release of dirty water.
  4. Pour in clean water again to clean the container.
  5. Keep water in the sight glass after cleaning out the container.
  6. Once you need to restart the machine for another patient, pour out the water in the machine.

The maintenance departments would change the bacterial filter as per the specific manufacturer’s instructions.

Take out the filter and clean it with a gentle soap. Once the soap has been cleaned out by the water, it can be left out to dry in a covered area.

Cleaning the Exterior of Oxygen Concentrator for Hospital Use

For cleaning the device’s exterior, switch off the device before starting with the following steps-

  1. Wear gloves and PPE.
  2. Clean up the humidifier with a gentle washing detergent. Once washed with water, let it dry out in the air.
  3. Use a cloth soaked in the detergent and water mix, use it to wipe the surface of the oxygen concentrator. Make sure to clean the detergent off with another dry lint-free cloth. (Make sure not to use excessive water/liquids, to keep the machine safe).
  4. Take a brush to clean out the corners and joints. Look out for dirt and calcifications on different spots.
  5. Choose a disinfectant that is accepted by the manufacturer. One can use 0.1% sodium hypochlorite if the device hasn’t been cleaned by something acidic beforehand.
  6. Once the oxygen concentrator for the hospital has been disinfected, throw away the gloves and PPE properly.

Storing the Oxygen Concentrator for Patient Use

Keep the neat and clean unit in storage where it won’t have exposure to germs and bacteria unnecessarily. Make sure that the storage place is neat and clean.

Bring out the stationary oxygen concentrator once another patient needs it. You will need to see that the previously poured water in the water sight glass is changed.

Next, make sure to check that a cleaned filter is placed.

If the oxygen concentrator is for personal use, the nasal cannula or the mouthpiece/face mask is usable for up to a week. If you are worried about how to clean the nasal cannula, you need not worry. You can clean the nasal cannula with a 1:49 diluted household bleach (5.25%), simply soak the nose piece for 10 minutes. After cleaning the nasal cannula in diluted bleach, clean it with sterile water and let it dry before use. You should change the cannula every week or every other week.

End Notes

The suggested protocol is set in place to ensure that cross-contamination is minimal. The use of PPE and gloves ensures that the personnel doesn’t get an infection from the equipment. Cleaning oxygen concentrators for hospital use or cleaning oxygen concentrators for personal use, care is necessary.  

Each manufacturer has some different requirements regarding the type of disinfectant used. However, a lot of things are the same for everyone. Be careful with the type of water that you use to clean the oxygen concentrator.

Good and timely maintenance of oxygen concentrators will elongate their life. We strongly suggest users or medical personnel clean oxygen concentrators regularly.

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