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A woman using and cleaning her nebulizer

Are We Cleaning Our Supplies Properly?

I have learned many new things over the years while living with COPD. Every time I think I have learned it, here comes something new.

Sterilizing respiratory equipment

Over the years, I have always done what the directions from the supply company or what the DR said to clean my oxygen, nebulizer, and CPAP equipment. I was always told to wash with mild detergent, rinse it, and let it air dry.

I did this for years. Recently, after having more lung infections, etc. I discovered that I have been doing this wrong over the years.

So many of us get lung infections from inhaling droplets of our drinking water. Most water has Pseudomonas and other waterborne pathogens. They have become super exposers in municipal water from aerosols, aspiration, and steam that put the problems deep in our lungs.

In most cases, these pathogens are not harmful, but with people with lung diseases like us, they can be harmful and even fatal. So, what do we need to do for people with lung disease like us to keep our equipment sanitized?

Here are some steps to help us stay clear of these pathogens. It’s suggested that we should rinse our equipment after each use and wash the nebulizer equipment once a day. To wash, use a mild detergent and drinkable water to rinse and dry.

How I clean my equipment

I have been adding an extra step lately: rinsing everything with distilled water. This will help the chance of not having pathogens on the rinsed equipment.

To take it a step further, many doctors now are suggesting sterilizing everything and completely drying it before use or storage. This is the only sure way to kill everything that can be harmful to our lungs.

Two of the things suggested for this is an instant pot sanitizing feature. Items must be removed promptly and thoroughly dried.

Another suggestion is a baby bottle sanitizer and dryer. These may seem excessive but considering all the lung infections we get. This could be a fundamental change and sounds like it has been working well for others.

Two of the things that can’t be sanitized by the instant pot or bottle sanitizer are the tubing on a CPAP and nebulizer. We need to be sure to change these items as often as suggested as well.

We shouldn't be using it longer than advised. That could lead to more infections that we do not need.

I am not giving any medical advice here; just sharing what I have researched and learned. It is a lot to take in, but it can benefit us all.

Have you heard any of this advice before, or do you have tips to share? Comment below and share with us.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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