How to Prevent Kinks in Oxygen Tubing

Heli Tube Products

Oxygen from the air we inhale flows through our airways and enters the circulatory system through the lungs. Once there, oxygen gets absorbed into the bloodstream and pumped through arteries to the rest of the body by the heart muscle. Some people with chronic illnesses require oxygen therapy to ensure that their bodies receive an ample amount of oxygen. Understanding how to keep an oxygen tube from kinking can help people with these conditions to live longer and to lead more active lives.

Problems with Oxygen Tubing 

Though oxygen therapy helps those who use it to breathe more easily, the tubing itself can create its own issues. Like a miniature garden hose, oxygen tubes can catch on furniture, snag when going around corners or get shut in doors, all of which can cause the tubing to kink. When these oxygen tubes develop kinks, it can significantly reduce oxygen flow, limiting the effectiveness of the therapy and making breathing more difficult. Once the tube kinks it weakens the tube in that spot making it more likely to kink again in the same spot.

If you use oxygen therapy, knowing how to keep oxygen tubes from kinking will help make the treatment more effective. Here are a few simple pointers to reduce the risk of this happening: 

  • While you may occasionally require the entire extension, coiling up excess tubing and putting it next to the oxygen concentrator will keep it out of the way, helping to prevent both snagging and people from tripping over it. 
  • Creating collection points around the house involves this same concept, allowing you the freedom to pivot around a specific location while in other rooms to help prevent from having to drag the line from room to room. 
  • Another way to keep the tubing from kinking is by placing it near the concentrator in such a way that it gives you a gentle warning tug. 

Additionally, as with wires, an oxygen tube develops a memory for how it should coil, so coiling will get easier over time.

How to Keep Oxygen Tube from Kinking with Hardware

As with most pliable tubing, no matter how hard you try to keep oxygen tubes from kinking, they can still tangle. Even new tubing that comes in rolls without any kinks may not coil easily, creating a tripping hazard. If kinking continues to be a problem, we have found a new solution using spiral wrap that has a few other added benefits.  

Here are all of the added benefits of wrapping the oxygen tube with Heli-Tube® Spiral Wrap:

  • Heli-Tube® acts like a protective cushion to keep the tube from kinking and protecting it from solid objects as you wrap around corners and through furniture that will help avoid a reduction in the oxygen flow.
  • Heli-Tube® protects the tube from being stepped on by making the tube thicker so you will feel it as soon as your foot comes down.  The added structure of the spiral wrap also absorbs your weight and makes it less likely that you crush the oxygen tube if you do step on it.
  • Heli-Tube® comes in a variety of bright colors which are much easier to see than the clear tubing when it is stretched out across the floor.
  • We do want to mention that, depending on dexterity, some folks do have difficulty putting on the spiral wrap but, afterward, we’ve heard from customers that this has been a great solution.

M. M. Newman Corporation manufactures polyethylene spiral cable wraps that can protect oxygen tubes, and help prevent them from tangling and disrupting oxygen flow. The best size for protecting oxygen tubes is 3/8″ OD Heli-Tube®. Though it comes in natural or black colors, we recommend one of our bright colors to make it more visible and more visually appealing. M.M. Newman Corporation has the following colors in stock in the 3/8″ OD size: Blue, green, orange, purple, red, white, yellow, pink day-glo, orange day-glo, yellow day-glo, green UV and orange UV.  It comes in rolls of  25FT, 50FT and 100FT allowing the customer to choose the perfect length for the oxygen tubing that needs protecting.  This is a one time purchase as you will be able to reuse the Heli-Tube® each time you need a new oxygen tube.

We want to give a special thanks to a kind gentleman in Texas that figured out this solution to help prevent their oxygen tube from kinking.  He even got the added benefit of the Orange DayGlo tubing brightening up the room in University of Texas colors.