Providing oxygen therapy in the surgical setting today is considered standard practice, depending on the patient’s needs. Patients with pulmonary disease and cardiac issues may require oxygen before, during, and after surgery. Surgical patients considered for gastrointestinal surgery may also require nasal gastric tubes and feeding tube placement. The oxygen-dependent patient requiring low flow oxygen from a dual prong nasal cannula in combination with nasal-gastric or feeding tubes could be at risk for nasal mucosa irritation, pressure sores, infection, and discomfort.
The single prong low flow oxygen cannula addresses these potential patient risks. Its unique design is the first substantive improvement in decades addressing patient comfort, safety, and the potential nasal-related complications from oxygen tubing, nasal-gastric and tube feedings.
Counting the Key Advantages
Key surgical advantages of the single prong low flow nasal cannula include:
1. Low Profile. The single prong nasal cannula can be placed on either side of the patient’s face, providing an unobstructed surgical site for facial surgery. Wound dressings can then be changed with reduced possibilities for infection from oxygen tubing.
2. Security. The security clip can be attached to the patient’s apparel, reducing the risk of single prong nasal cannula displacement from transports, moving from bed to chair and with ambulation.
3. Non-Intrusive. The single prong nasal cannula does not require moving the patient’s head when placed, and the memory wire inside the wall of the oxygen tubing can easily be molded to one side of the patient’s face, and around the back of the ear ensuring proper placement and comfort. Securing the large oxygen tubing to the patient’s apparel with the security clip ensures safety.
4. Compliance. When using the single prong nasal cannula, post-op patients requiring supplemental oxygen may feel less conscience about their appearance in public places. An improved sense of personal dignity, in combination with increased comfort and security wearing the single prong cannula, may improve patient socialization when experiencing new challenges and relationships.
5. Quality of Life. Patients wearing a single prong nasal cannula are able to smell their environment and food, which may help encourage patients to continuously wear their oxygen cannulas as ordered by their physician. The physiological benefits of continuous oxygen provide the compromised cardiac and pulmonary patient with improved health, diet, and quality of life.
6. Comfort. The single prong nasal cannula can be used in either nostril and easily switched from right to left nares to prevent nasal mucosal irritation from drying oxygen flows. This option may reduce or prevent nose bleeds, improve patient comfort, and improve compliance.
7. Sleep. Patients wearing the single prong nasal cannula during sleep are able to select which side the oxygen tubing is most comfortable against their cheek, and can place their face comfortably against their pillow without having to tolerate bilateral oxygen tubing pressing against their cheek. This also prevents unsightly skin indentation along the face. Sound quality sleep is most beneficial for mental and physical health.
8. Adaptability. Patients missing an ear, or suffering with a deviated nasal septum, are able to comfortably wear the single prong cannula confident that it will remain in place and provide oxygen support.
9. More efficient. The patented, medical grade, latex-free single prong nasal prong is designed to increase positive end expiratory pressure with exhalation. The oxygen-dependent patient’s unobstructed nostril provides the ability to potentially improve chest wall expansion and inspire ambient air while also entertaining the supplemental oxygen from the single prong cannula deeply into their lungs. This may result in higher POX values.
10. Easy to Use. Instructing the discharged surgical patient how to correctly wear the single prong nasal cannula is simple. The cannula can be correctly placed on the patient while sitting in a wheel chair, standing with a walker, lying on a gurney for transport, or in a hospital bed.
The single prong nasal cannula innovation is popular with patients and providers alike, making the process of providing much-needed low flow oxygen simpler while reducing skin irritation, promoting ease of movement, improving sleeping and eating, and enhancing health and personal appearance.
Campbell C. Cauthen III is a retired BS Registered Respiratory Therapist, Neonatal Pediatric Specialist, with a background in Industrial Design. He graduated from Ayers State Technical College, Jacksonville State University and Georgia State University. He has practiced Respiratory Care for over thirty years working at Atlanta Medical Center, Mission Hospitals Regional Medical Center, and at the Asheville, NC Veterans Hospital.