If it's so comfortable how come nobody else makes it?
One word....COST. The special tubing costs a lot more and the hospital supply business is very competitive. I became involved because my Aunt Delores uses oxygen and I was an engineer in the medical industry. We worked together for over a year trying different ideas and materials to come up with a cannula that is geared towards comfort instead of low cost.
How does it work?
The key to comfort is simply that you don't have to pull the tubing tight to keep the nosepiece in place. There are no more sores under the nose or on the ears, no grooves on the face and no feeling of strangulation. Further still, the tips of the prongs are so flexible that nose hairs aren't disturbed and the sensation that something is in the nose disappears.
The stiff tubing used on all other cannulas tends to move the nosepiece when you turn your head so you have to pull it tight to stop it. The nosepiece on other cannulas is straight in the middle and rocks like a see-saw under the nose. Again, the tubing has to be pulled tight to stop this. When you first take the cannula out of the package, one of the two tubes is bent differently causing the nosepiece to tip. Pulling the tubing tight straightens it out. The main tubing looks like a coil spring for a while and refuses to stay put. If you live in a cold climate, all the problems listed are compounded.
The tubing I use is a special compound that is extremely flexible, even in cold weather. The nosepiece I invented fits the face and nose naturally and there is no tendency to rock in any direction. Plus the load is spread out instead of concentrating in the center. It is also very lightweight. Many people find they don't need to use the slide at all. The result is a cannula that is so comfortable you can actually forget you are wearing one.
Are these safe to use?
All of the materials used to make these cannulas are the same that all manufacturers use (PVC). The super flexible tubing is a medical grade PVC compound that passed standard toxicology tests. The adhesive used to bond all connections is the same used by major manufacturers. Like all cannulas these are not sterile but they are made in a clean environment and all the tubing and fittings are manufactured to the same standards of cleanliness.
How long do they last?
It varies among customers. It can last anywhere from 3, 4 weeks to 2 months. Tubing and nosepiece will become harder over time. Cannula replacement should take place when you no longer get the comforts you are looking for.
What are the bad points?
Because you can't feel the cannula very well, some people panic at night thinking the cannula has fallen out. After a few false alarms the problem usually goes away.
The tubing is stretchy and if you move the slide up to the neck while stretching it, the tubing will stay tight like a stretched rubber band. Make sure to leave the slide a little loose (if you use it at all).
If any of the above information bothers you then you may not want to buy one. You might try one to see if it works for you or you can ask for more detailed information.
What is this "No-Twist" tubing?
It is 25 or 50-foot supply tubing made of the same flexible material as the cannulas. In the right situation people absolutely love it. My Aunt Delores tells me it was the best thing since indoor toilets! The tubing lays flat on the floor, stays where you put it, drapes nicely over things and doesn't twist into knots. It is also stretchy so if it does get caught on something it won't whip you around like a horse's reins. However, if you have a house full of kids or people that would be stepping on it then it may not work out. Also if you work in the garage or yard and it is likely to get caught on things, it can become blocked momentarily. The tubing is not damaged, however.
How does the "No-Twist" tubing work?
I am not sure. I happened to have a bunch of this special tubing intended for another project and I sent some to my aunt after she complained her hose got tangled under foot. To both our surprises, she said it didn't knot up like her regular hose. I theorize that the twisting comes from dragging hose sideways across the floor. Normal hose doesn't lay perfectly flat and it touches the floor at some points and is a little above the floor in between. This height creates enough leverage for the tubing to roll when it is dragged sideways, trying to wind it up. The wound-up tubing flips into twists in order to relieve the tension and this results in kinks that tend to become easier and easier to form. Carpet is probably worse than vinyl and certain carpets are probably worse than others. The temperature of the tubing affects its stiffness and this may also be a factor. I think the secret to the "No-Twist" tubing is that it lies very flat on the floor and lacks the leverage needed to roll and it slides sideways instead. I would appreciate any observations, affirmations or theories from people who live with the stuff every day.
02/12 5:24 PM