If you have COPD, or any other respiratory ailment, you can avoid infection by staying away from people that have the flu or upper respiratory infections. (Flu or pneumonia shots have become much more readily available in recent years as well.) Changes in your cough, wheezing, or mucus color and production can signal the onset of an infection. If you do get an infection, contact your physician so that treatment may begin right away.
Keeping your equipment clean is also a necessary step in infection control. You can wash your mask or cannula with liquid soap 1-2 times a week, being sure to rinse it well. At a minimum, change your cannula every week and tubing or humidifier bottle every month. If you do use humidity, you can also follow these steps to clean the humidifier bottle:
- Soak all parts in warm soapy water for 15 minutes. Use a brush to remove any remaining particles.
- Rinse all parts in warm water and shake dry.
- To disinfect, soak the parts in a basin of one part white vinegar to three parts water for 20 minutes.
- Rinse all parts and let air dry.
|Foam Filter on PB540|
Though not an all-encompassing guide to infection control, the above steps and suggestions should help you decrease your risks and chances for infection and maintain your personal health. Thanks for reading, and as always we welcome your comments and suggestions.
Northwest Respiratory Services
(Images from cdc.gov, NRS)