Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Chicago suburbs
Question about medical oxygen
Is air totally lacking in moisture bad for a person?
My niece came home from the hospital about three weeks ago on oxygen (the cannula in the nose, not a ventilator) and other than the small hassle of moving her while she's attached to this thing, it's been no big deal. However, I'm concerned that her portable O2 tanks are contributing to a respiratory problem, so if anyone knows a lot about this I'd appreciate input....
Evie was home for a week and a half before we learned that the oxygen in the portable tanks is 100% dry air, with no moisture in it at all. She's on a bigger machine when she's in her crib, one that has a bubbler to add moisture to the air, but for the 12 hours a day that she's up she's been on this totally dry air.
This past Sunday she had a very rough day - coughing a lot, throwing up a lot, turning kind of purple-ish when she would cough really hard..... So her dad freaked out about it, and Monday started calling some of the specialists she has seen and trying to get her appointments and figure out if there's something else wrong with her. (Besides the congenital heart defect she just had surgery for.) She's done much better since Sunday, and she's also had three doctor appointments relating to that day. So far no one has been able to find any specifically wrong that could explain Sunday's incident.
Today I got to thinking about her oxygen, and I'm wondering if this totally dry air that's being blown up her nose could be causing or aggravating her coughing. I'm thinking that if her nasal passages, throat and maybe part of her lungs are being dried out by this air, her body would react by coughing to try to bring up some moisture to those dry areas. She's not really taking any food by mouth right now, being fed instead with a feeding tube, so she's not getting any significant moisture to her throat or mouth to help the dryness. She really wants her brother's sippy cup, but the medical people have told my sister to actually avoid giving her water because of all the medications she's on and not wanting to flush them out of her body. Her diapers have been (to me) frighteningly dry, even though her feeding tube and pump are ensuring that she's getting plenty of food.
Anyone able to shed some light here?
~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie