An oxygen nasal cannula is a medical device used to deliver supplemental oxygen to patients in need of respiratory support. It consists of a lightweight, flexible tube that splits into two prongs, which are inserted into the patient’s nostrils. At the other end of the cannula, there is a connector to attach to an oxygen source, such as an oxygen concentrator or oxygen cylinder.
- Size differentiation: Oxygen nasal cannulas are available in different sizes to accommodate both pediatric (child) and adult patients. Pediatric cannulas are smaller to fit the nostrils of children comfortably.
- Soft and flexible: The cannula is designed to be soft and flexible, reducing discomfort for the patient during extended use.
- Curved prongs: The prongs of the cannula are usually curved to conform to the shape of the nostrils, ensuring a secure fit and optimal oxygen delivery.
- Adjustable tubing length: The length of the tubing can be adjusted to allow the patient some freedom of movement while maintaining a stable connection to the oxygen source.
- Oxygen therapy: The primary use of the oxygen nasal cannula is to deliver supplemental oxygen to patients who have low blood oxygen levels (hypoxemia) due to various medical conditions, such as respiratory disorders, heart failure, or during post-surgical recovery.
- Homecare: Oxygen nasal cannulas are commonly used in homecare settings, especially for patients who require long-term oxygen therapy to manage chronic respiratory conditions.
- Hospital settings: In hospitals and medical facilities, oxygen nasal cannulas are frequently employed to provide oxygen support to patients in the general ward or those recovering from surgeries.
- Emergency situations: In emergencies, nasal cannulas can be quickly applied to deliver oxygen to patients before more advanced respiratory support can be administered.
- Palliative care: Oxygen therapy with nasal cannulas can help improve the comfort and quality of life for patients with advanced illnesses, such as terminal cancer or end-stage respiratory diseases.