What types of pillows can be used in the Monoplace chamber? Can we utilize reusable pillows?
Thank you for your question. The UHMS HBO2 safety committee can provide information to assist you in answering your question, but the ultimate responsibility for these types of questions rests with the medical director and safety director of your facility.
Regarding pillows approved for use in Monoplace chambers: One should be careful not to allow just any pillow into the monoplace chamber. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 99, “Health Care Facilities Code,” 2018 edition contains a section regarding textiles (18.104.22.168.4) that provides guidance on the decision process for textiles, garments and wound care products.
We suggest that a proper risk assessment be initiated by the Safety Director of the hyperbaric program. The risk assessment found in section A22.214.171.124.4.3 is written for hyperbaric wound dressings, but the process is useful for other items as well. The Safety Director should consider using this risk assessment when making decisions about pillows to be used in the hyperbaric environment. Furthermore, section 126.96.36.199.4.4 calls for written approval by the Safety Director and Medical Director for prohibitive items to be allowed. The Safety Committee suggests that this code applies to the acceptance or disapproval of pillows.
You may wish to review these safety factors that may impact your decision:
- The increased oxygen atmosphere in the chamber and the need to limit combustibles
- Silk, wool and synthetic textiles are prohibited, unless approved by the medical director and safety director and based on sound and safe reasoning
- Static producing materials should be avoided
- Closed cell materials, such as some synthetics may retain oxygen after decompression, presenting an additional risk once the treatment has been concluded.
- Infection prevention: Non-synthetic cotton or down pillows are relatively safe to be used in some chambers but are challenging when it comes to disinfection. Wipe-able covers are available and may need to be considered for those types of pillows.
- The pillows need to be able to vent with the change of pressure in the chamber to avoid the pillow expanding on decompression.
It may be beneficial to inquire of your chamber manufacturer when seeking options for pillows. The UHMS website below contains links to many chamber vendors that may offer pillows. However, the Hyperbaric Oxygen Safety Committee suggests that your own risk assessment be performed regardless of the pillow manufacturer.
Please let us know if we can provide any additional guidance or information.
The UHMS Safety Committee
Neither the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) staff nor its members are able to provide medical diagnosis or recommend equipment over the internet. If you have medical concerns about hyperbaric medicine you need to be evaluated by a doctor licensed to practice medicine in your locale, which can provide you professional recommendations for hyperbaric medicine based upon your condition. The responsibility of approving the use of equipment resides with the physician and safety director of the facility. Information provided on this forum is for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own health care practitioner and you should not rely upon it as though it were specific medical advice given to you personally.