Frequently asked questions

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We don’t have much time. It’s important that our equipment is easy to understand and doesn’t bring more work just to use it correctly.

You can easily switch from one mode to the other. The continuous mode works like any traditional flowmeter with the white button and the Thorpe tube between 0 and 15 l / min. You can switch to comfort mode by setting the dial of the flowmeter to positions from 1 to 5 l / min. Before you do this, you must ensure that the ball in the tube is at 5 l / min in continuous mode. From comfort mode you can switch back to continuous by turning the dial to continuous.

It is also important to emphasize that there is no more work involved for the nurse. On the contrary, because the system switches itself on and off. So there is no handling of the nurse needed when the patient removes his cannula or leaves the room, nor when he comes back and restarts therapy. The patient will always get the right amount of oxygen without having to look into the register what the prescribed flow is.

What about training for my staff?

Training is included in our services and very important to us, because we see that it enhances the positive effects for the patient and staff. The device is very simple to use and to understand so training is easy and fast and doesn’t require much time from your staff. We comply with the possibilities of the department in question. During these training sessions, everyone gets the chance to use the devices and feel the difference for themselves. In this way, all team members get to experience the benefits for themselves and are better able to answer questions from patients.

I don’t understand how you can use continuous mode and comfort mode at the same time?

You do not use both modes at the same time. It is one or the other mode depending on what the patient prefers and what the doctor prescribes or recommends. On the other hand, you can easily change modes, from comfort to continuous and vice versa.

Why doesn’t the ball signal the right flow rate when in comfort mode?

The therapy setting in the comfort mode is signaled by the position of the dial: from 1 to 5 l/min. These settings are designed to give the equivalent therapy as in the corresponding continuous flows, only without oxygen waste when the patient is exhaling or not present. The ball still has a function, because it will float around 0,5 or 1 l/min when in comfort mode, which gives you a visual confirmation that the oxygen is flowing (next to the auditory check you get when you hear the puffs when oxygen is released).

It is important to know that if the comfort mode is used, the ball in the flowmeter tube does not indicate the amount. It is the position of the dial that does.

Will my patient receive enough oxygen with the O2COMFORT flowmeter?

Absolutely, we can refer to multiple studies on saturation (see scientific literature).

What you probably always do when delivering continuous oxygen is measure the saturation to see if the patient has the right oxygen quantity in the blood, well in comfort mode it is exactly the same, based on the patient’s saturation, you can choose and adapt to the right setting. If the patient reveals himself as a mouth- or shallow breather then continuous mode is preferable. We have kept the continuous mode on our flowmeter for a reason. Both modes have their applications. In fact both modes are needed: one doesn’t exclude the other.

Will the O2COMFORT flowmeter stop at night when a patient tends to have shallow- or mouth breathing during sleep?

No. You can evaluate if a patient breaths normally when you first set the therapy. If it triggers, it will keep on triggering day and night.

When the device is set in comfort mode, with shallow- or mouth breathing there might be no triggering as you are setting the therapy (as the pressure sensed through the nasal cannula drops below 3,6 mm H2O), and in that case no oxygen dose will be given.

I started to use the O2COMFORT flowmeter but it doesn’t work, I have to put half of my patients in continuous mode.

What you say is normal.

This doesn’t mean that the system doesn’t work. Both modes have their own applications. In fact both modes are needed one doesn’t exclude the other. We always say that the comfort mode is possible for 1 out of 2 patients. And if you have a 50/50 ratio then that is an excellent figure. It is important to show the advantage to each patient and ask them to inhale through the nose so that they can feel it. Acute shortness of breath or some specific diseases might lead to the use of the continuous mode.

Can I use an aquapack with the O2COMFORT flowmeter?

Yes you can, but only in continuous setting. In comfort setting, the patients nasal mucosa is hydrated by the patient himself. This is because our system only gives oxygen during the inhaling phase of the breathing. When exhaling the comfort mode doesn’t give oxygen which means that the natural hydration takes place. Other advantages of not having to use a humidifier anymore are: no/less infection risk, less handling from nurses, additional savings,….

In continuous mode the device is equal to a classic flowmeter and you can screw a humidifier on the DISSconnector like before.

Can I use extension lines for the nasal cannula with the O2COMFORT flowmeter?

Yes, no problem. We even see that when using extension lines, the noise is less. When using extension lines or longer nasal cannula (more than 2,5 meters), you might need to adjust the therapy level accordingly (put it one or two levels higher). This is necessary because of a delayed triggering resulting in less oxygen intake than would be the case with the standard shorter nasal cannula.

Can I use mouth masks with the O2COMFORT flowmeter?

Yes, but only in continuous mode. Mouth masks are usually more used for higher flow rates (above 5 l/min).

What about the noise of the O2COMFORT flowmeter? What if a patient doesn’t like it?

Yes, there is a little puff. For some patients it can be reassuring, so they (or their family) know that they receive oxygen (it works as auditory feed-back that the therapy is given), for other the puff can be seen as a disadvantage. The patient or nurse has to choose between long term benefits (comfort and no more crust formation, headache, dryness, nose bleeds) with a little puff-sound or dehydration and unpleasant side-effects with no puff-sound. The choice will quickly be made.

The sound can be reduced using specific types of nasal cannula or extension lines (like bubble tubing). We have performed studies on a series of nasal cannula of different types and the effect on the puff noise level. We can recommend some types of cannula of which we know that they are the most quiet to use with the comfort mode. If that is not sufficient for a particular patient, remember that you always can use the continuous mode as well. On the other hand, when in continuous mode, there is also always a sound.

Can the O2COMFORT flowmeter be used for every patient in the ward?

The device is a combination of a classic, continuous flowmeter with an additional option: the comfort mode. As a therapist you don’t lose anything, you now just have an option more than before. Roughly you can say that one in two patients enjoys better care with the comfort mode. There is a scientific base (see scientific literature) that proves therapy in comfort mode is safe and suitable.

Is this comfort mode suitable for all my patients?

Definitely not. But this device is a combination of a classic continuous flowmeter with an additional comfort mode on top. The comfort mode will be useful for 25 to 50% of the patients, depending on their condition and needs.

Isn’t the O2COMFORT flowmeter mainly advantageous for the post-surgery recovery rooms?

Not necessarily. Patients in the recovery rooms are often still asleep or are waking up. They tend not to breathe through the nose and they often need higher doses of oxygen in the beginning, preferably in continuous mode. When they wake up, they are rapidly put into weaning (gradually reduce the oxygen delivery) so the nursing has to change settings a few times. As there are a lot of patients coming through, this must go fast and fluently. We experienced using a comfort mode in these kind of wards can be difficult as the protocol for choosing the right setting and adapt when evolving can be seen as too time consuming for these recovery rooms, where there is a high passage of patients in time.

As a doctor I am not interested in a lower oxygen consumption? What’s in it for me?

With the O2COMFORT flowmeter you can offer your patients a comfortable way of getting oxygen. No complaints about dry nose and other side effects, which often means a higher therapy loyalty. All this without added workload for the nurses, on the contrary.

Chronic oxygen users often know the on-demand system from home care where they are used a lot. However, these do not work for all patients. Why would these patients agree to get on-demand oxygen in the hospital if they prefer continuous therapy?

If the patient is a chronic oxygen user who knows the different settings and prefers continuous oxygen, that is perfectly fine. Our system is purposely designed to have both choices. There are also a lot of patients who also prefer the comfort mode, of course. We see that the comfort mode is used by 1 out of 2 patients. The choice between the two can have different reasons: for higher flow rates (>5lpm) only continuous flow is possible, patient preference due to the puff-sound, a perception of dyspnoea (even when good saturation levels are being measured), shallow- or mouth breading, or other reasons…. In the end it is straightforward, if we can give more comfort to half of the patients, why shouldn’t you? And remember that even with that ½ ratio, we obtain very good savings.

Are the doses in your comfort mode really equivalent as the corresponding continuous therapy? Comfort mode setting 1 = 1 liter per minute; comfort mode 5 = 5 liter per minute?

Yes. Inside the O2COMFORT flowmeter there is a kind of buffer tank and a wheel with holes that works like a sieve. The higher the number on the comfort ring. The bigger the holes, and thus so the bigger the oxygen dose. In the end the given amount of oxygen per minute is the same.

The mechanism delivers a constant minute volume. As long as the patient has a natural breath rate between 12 and 38 breaths per minute (bpm), the mechanism adapts itself to deliver the patient precisely the same amount of oxygen per time unit, independently of the breath rate. So inhaling at 15 bpm in comfort mode setting 2 results in higher doses (28ml) that when inhaling 30 times per minute (14ml).

This makes it clear that the single delivery volumes adapt to the breath rate so as to give an overall constant minute volume to the patient. The selector ring determines the volume of oxygen per time unit that can enter the filling chamber through a small orifice in a plate. This volume is emptied every time the patient triggers the mechanism through the sensing membrane. As the filling volume per time unit stays constant, also the total delivery volume per time unit stays constant. This has the consequence that the delivery volume per breath changes according to the respiration frequency of the patient: when the patient inhales faster, the filling chamber will be less filled when triggered compared to a patient that inhales less frequently.

The scientific literature referred to are usually old, while the O2COMFORT flowmeter is fairly new. How is that possible?

The device is new indeed but the technology and way to administer oxygen “on demand” to patients is a lot older. It is known from the homecare. We translated that technology to the hospital. That’s all.

And because it is already so old you can trust that it is working very well. No new studies have been done in the last couple of years. We did a new study with the respiratory departments of University Ghent, the Technical College of Eindhoven (Maxima Medisch Centrum) and the cardiac surgery ward of the University of Antwerp, that have been validated and that are still unpublished (publication on file).

Does the O2COMFORT flowmeter fit all connectors? Can they still be changed in case of a renovation?

Yes, the system works with every type of connector and this can be changed, so if you plan a renovation or will move to a new building soon, you can have them changed and take them with you.

How can I be sure the O2COMFORT flowmeter is free of manufacturing defects?

The purchase of the device includes a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, whereby “the device will be free of defects in workmanship and / or material for a period of two years from date of shipment.” This is stated in the user manual (article 14), if they want the manual, they can have it. Within this period of 2 years, a rare defect of the device will be repaired free of charge, provided that the device has been used correctly.

Does the O2COMFORT flowmeter needs a regular maintenance?

The device is maintenance free (no parts of the device need to be replaced), manual article 4: The flowmeter functions as described in this user manual, as long as the product is handled, mounted, maintained and repaired in a way that meets the instructions provided. it is recommended, but not mandatory, that the flowmeter is checked annually.

Oxypoint recommends this check to make sure that the device can work optimally (pressure check, additional user teaching). We offer a service contract that also includes refresher training for users.

Can I repair the O2COMFORT flowmeter myself in the event of a defect?

No, only Oxypoint or does the service. Also all repairs must be carried out or authorized by Oxypoint, or by a party authorized by Oxypoint. If you contact Oxypoint, they will take care of it. If necessary, they provide you with another device until the first is fixed.

What is the lifespan of the O2COMFORT flowmeter?

Minimal 8 years.

In fact, they last as long as a traditional flowmeter and that can go up to more than 20 years. Use them as long as they work well, and if you use them correctly they will certainly last longer. The on-demand part (as used in home care) also has a similar and higher life expectancy. The very first Oxypoint devices (° 2011) are still in use and show no problems.

What is the most common technical problem?

There is almost never a technical problem.

The most sensitive parts of the device are the flow tube and the white flow knob. When used normally, they don’t break, but accidentally someone could drop one or bump into one with a bed or so. Then it can break.

Can I buy spare parts to repair the device myself?

No. Oxypoint takes care of everything. Do you have a broken device, you simply exchange it for a new one and send the defective one to us.

What is the recommended cleaning method?

The cleaning is clearly stated in the user manual (article 11). The exterior surface of the flowmeter should be cleaned with a cleaning cloth dampened with a mild detergent and water. Do not spray anything directly onto the flowmeter. Wipe the exterior surface dry using a clean cloth. And store the flowmeter in a dust-free environment, free of oil, grease or other sources of contamination. Never clean the flowmeter using volatile organic solvents. Never autoclave the flowmeter, or gas it with ethylene oxide (EtO).

Can you provide the necessary documents that show your product is safe and compliant to all regulations?

Yes, off course. You can download the following documents on the SUPPORT page.

  • a declaration of conformity of the product (CE-label and ISO standards) that declares the production quality system complies to all relevant legislation.
  • a certificate of proof of the granted European patent EP2707072B that shows Oxypoint is the only one in the market with this innovation.