Oxygen Tube Length – What is Safe?
Have you ever wondered what length of tubing is safe for you to use with your home concentrator or portable system? While we have traditionally educated to go no longer than fifty feet, this article from the National Institute of Health cites that even greater length may be effective. Read on to learn “how” this was confirmed.
“Tubing length for long-term oxygen therapy
Aguiar C, et al. Respir Care. 2015.
BACKGROUND: Most patients on long-term oxygen therapy use stationary oxygen delivery systems. It is not uncommon for guidelines to instruct patients to use tubing lengths no longer than 19.68 ft (6 m) when using an oxygen concentrator and 49.21 ft (15 m) when using cylinders. However, these concepts are not based on sufficient evidence. Thus, our objective was to evaluate whether a 98.42-ft (30-m) tubing length affects oxygen flow and FIO2 delivery from 1 cylinder and 2 oxygen concentrators.
METHODS: The 3 oxygen delivery systems were randomly selected, and 1, 3, and 5 L/min flows and FIO2 were measured 5 times at each flow at the proximal and distal outlets of the tubing by a gas-flow analyzer. Paired Student t test was used to analyze the difference between flows and FIO2 at proximal and distal outlets of tubing length.
RESULTS: A total of 45 flows were measured between proximal and distal outlets of the 98.42-ft (30-m) tubing. Flows were similar for 1 and 3 L/min, but distal flow was higher than proximal flow at 5 L/min (5.57×5.14 L/min, P<.001). FIO2 was lower at distal than proximal outlet tubing at flows 1, 3, and 5 L/min, but the mean difference between measurements was less than 1%.
CONCLUSIONS: Tubing length of 98.42 ft (30 m) may be used by patients for home delivery oxygen with flows up to 5 L/min, as there were no important changes in flows or FIO2.
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