"The Oxypoint team is currently doing everything possible to provide the hospitals with the necessary flowmeters, we are at our wits’ end," sighs Niels Pintens, head of R&D at Oxypoint. He is on his way from Germany to Belgium with a new load of components. These are needed to (hopefully) provide a hospital in Switzerland with new flowmeters by the end of next week.
"It is very difficult and very labor-intensive to get our flow meters to the hospitals," says Niels.
Due to the corona crisis, the use of oxygen flowmeters in hospitals has peaked.
Patients who come in with COVID-19 often suffer from shortness of breath and are in need of extra oxygen. Flowmeters are key in administering oxygen therapy. More than 350,000 patients in Belgian hospitals receive oxygen therapy every year. Conclusion: one of the most common therapies in all hospitals.
With the coronavirus, oxygen flowmeters are perhaps used even more than usual: not for the critical COVID-19 patients, of course. They are treated in the intensive care unit. But the patients in low care units can receive oxygen therapy in comfort mode. But how does that work?
More comfort, lower risk of infection, less oxygen consumption
Traditional oxygen therapy causes dehydration of the nose, which can lead to irritation, crust formation, nosebleeds and headaches. This is because oxygen is administered continuously, both when breathing in and out. With the Oxypoint O2COMFORT flowmeter you can receive a dose of oxygen only when breathing in. This has several advantages!
The comfort mode ensures that moist air can get back into the patient's nose, making the use of a humidifier unnecessary. This eliminates the risk of infection due to bacterial growth in those humidifiers.
It's pure logic: when oxygen therapy no longer causes dehydration and is no longer annoying, the patient is better able to continue the treatment. This higher compliance increases the effectiveness and ultimately accelerates the healing process.
The comfort mode also reduces oxygen waste, while the same oxygen saturation is achieved. Longetudinal studies in different departments of the hospital confirmed a reduced oxygen consumption between 33% and 75%.
Greater than the sum of its parts
The Oxypoint team is currently doing everything possible to help the hospitals. Account manager Steve has been temporarily relieved of his role as a salesperson and is calling all hospitals, keeping his finger on the pulse.
More important is the support of the medical staff, during these difficult times. Using our flow meter in comfort mode has many advantages, but safe and correct use is necessary.
"Normally we provide on the spot training and support for care givers. We teach them how to use the flowmeters wisely. But in these exceptional times that is unfortunately not possible," says Niels. "We are currently making our own instructional videos and want to put all training materials and tips online as soon as possible. In addition, we are in contact with all suppliers several times a day to monitor production, assembly and shipping. With all these efforts we manage to get extra material to the hospitals. All hospitals are very grateful! This week we received a flower as a reward for our extra mile(s). And that's gratifying," says Niels.
"Last but not least, we're also working hard to get the most recent order in Switzerland. Do you know of a need for flowmeters? Let us know for sure, then we can take this into account in the challenging process of assembly and shipping!"