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Assessing your home environment

Before the patient comes home, look around to assess the space. Make sure there is appropriate room for the ventilator, and other required equipment and supplies. Make sure Emergency Medical Services would have easy access to reach the patient in case of an emergency. Be sure to have a clear path to the patient.

Typically, home care patients spend a lot of time in one room, so set up the designated space for comfort and efficiency.

Home Pre-assessment Checklist

  • Remove obstacles to prevent trips and slips
  • Locate electrical outlets intended for medical equipment
  • If an extension cord or power strip is absolutely necessary for a ventilator or oxygen concentrator only use properly rated extension cords and power strips.
  • Designate private space for personal care
  • Make sure there is ample lighting
  • Place the oxygen concentrator where it will have plenty of air circulation around it
  • Provide an accessible location for the ventilator; alarms should be audible throughout the home from this location
  • Place a table or nightstand at the bedside to hold the ventilator
  • Have a supply table or flat surface nearby for patient care items
  • Plan for an easy access space to store supplies
  • Furnish the room with:
    • Stackable plastic storage bins; label the bins to keep organized and reduce clutter
    • Trash can
    • Remote ventilator alarm system or baby monitor to make sure ventilator alarms can be heard remotely

Supply Checklist

  • Blunt-nose bandage scissors
  • Facial tissues
  • Container (for catheter rinse water)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Disposable sterile gloves (like those used by healthcare providers)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Syringe (for use with a cuffed tube)
  • Drain sponges (for tracheostomy)
  • Replacement inner cannula (for products using disposable inner cannula) or temporary inner cannula for use while cleaning reusable inner cannula
  • Replacement tubes (for tracheostomy — one the same size and one smaller)
  • Small wash basin
  • Sterile 4" x 4" gauze pads
  • Sterile normal saline or sterile water
  • Suction catheters (tracheal, oral, and nasal)
  • Suction canisters
  • Suction machine with connecting tubing
  • Tube mask/trach collar
  • Twill tape or other tube holders (to secure the tracheostomy tube in place)
  • Water-soluble lubricant
  • Manual resuscitation bag
  • (At least one) Spare ventilator circuit
  • Spare exhalation valve
  • Spare HEPA filters
  • Spare heat-moisture exchangers (HMEs), if applicable
  • Spare heated humidification supplies such as chamber and tubing (when applicable)

The information and guidance presented on this website is informational only and not intended to influence practice or supersede the instructions for use of any specific device.