Abstract

Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) are widely used to administer long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) and employ pulsed delivery modes to conserve oxygen. Efficient pulsed delivery requires that POCs are triggered by patient inhalation. Triggering is known to fail for some patients during periods of quite breathing, as occurs during sleep. The present article describes a new nasal interface designed to improve triggering of pulsed oxygen delivery from portable oxygen concentrators (POCs). In vitro experiments incorporating realistic nasal airway replicas and simulated breathing were conducted. The pressure monitored via oxygen supply tubing (the signal pressure) was measured over a range of constant inhalation flow rates with the nasal interface inserted into the nares of the nasal airway replicas, and compared with signal pressures measured for standard and flared nasal cannulas. Triggering efficiency and the fraction of inhaled oxygen (FiO2) were then evaluated for the nasal interface and cannulas used with a commercial POC during simulated tidal breathing through the replicas. Higher signal pressures were achieved for the nasal interface than for nasal cannulas at all flow rates studied. The nasal interface triggered pulsed delivery from the POC in cases where nasal cannulas failed to trigger. FiO2 was significantly higher for successful triggering cases than for failed triggering cases. The nasal interface improved triggering of pulsed oxygen delivery from a POC and presents a simple solution that could be used with commercially-available POCs to reliably supply oxygen during periods of quiet breathing.

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