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General tips during the COVID-19 pandemic

The do's

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap when caring for your stoma.
     
  • Avoid touching your stoma as much as possible and do so only with clean hands.
     
  • Wear an HME 24/7, if you can. HMEs help to humidify the inhaled air, thereby reducing coughing and mucus.  
  • Consider wearing an HME with an electrostatic filter that filters out viruses and bacteria with more than 99% efficiency, for example when you attend hospital appointments or are in crowded areas.
     
  • Wear an adhesive baseplate with your HME if you can. This provides the most airtight seal that can help minimize the spread of droplets to your direct surroundings. If you need to use a tube, use a tube that can be attached using an adhesive baseplate.
     
  • When you have been out, wash your hands, take off your HME and dispose of it. Wash your hands again and insert a new HME.
     
  • If you have coughed and need to clean your stoma, wash your hands first, then clean your stoma and dispose of the tissues immediately, and wash your hands again.
     
  • Remove the HME when you need to cough and firmly hold a lint-free tissue or cloth in front of your stoma to reduce the spread of droplets. If you have coughed into the HME, dispose of the HME immediately.  
  • Use only clean devices and equipment when caring for your stoma and voice prosthesis.
     
  • Store your equipment and products for stoma care in a clean and hygienic separate area, such as a sealed container.
     
  • Carry hand sanitizer – at least 60% alcohol content to be effective, to be used when you are not able to wash your hands with soap and water.
     
  • Use disposable cleaning products and equipment where possible.
     
  • Dispose of all used products and wash your hands afterwards. 
  • Consider contacting your clinician to ensure you have the products and equipment that you need at home.
     
  • Contact your clinician before attending hospital appointments to ensure you are taking the correct precautions, such as wearing an HME with a >99% efficient electrostatic filter covered by a laryngectomy protector (‘bib’). Your hospital may ask you to wear two masks, one mask over your stoma and one on your face.
     
  • When you need to leave the house, bring a sealed zipper bag with you to keep any dirty tissues or used products sealed until you can dispose of them.
     
  •  Consider wearing a medical alert or neck breather bracelet. 

The don'ts

  • Avoid storing clean and dirty devices or equipment in the same storage container.
     
  • Avoid leaving unused and clean devices out in the open.
     
  • Avoid leaving dirty devices or equipment out, dispose of them or clean them immediately.
     
  • Do not re-use, wash or rinse HMEs.  
  • Do not keep HMEs or other devices unprotected in your bag or pocket. 

Products that can help you

Provox® Xtra HMEs 

The Provox®  XtraMoist™ HME has the smallest pore size and best humidification. The Provox® XtraFlow™ HME has a slightly larger pore size and is a little easier to breathe through, however has a slightly lower humidification. Provox Xtra HMEs provide some level of filtration depending on pore size, however are not considered efficient filters for viruses and bacteria. 

 

Provox® Micron™ HME
Provides humidification and filtration of the air you breathe in, and filtration of the air you breathe out. It can protect you and those in your direct surroundings by effective filtration of viruses and bacteria (Bacterial and Viral Filtration Efficiency is >99%)*. Depending on your situation you could use it in certain circumstances, or all the time. 

Provox® Adhesives  

Provox® FlexiDerm is an adhesive baseplate that sticks well to the skin. Provox® OptiDerm is a soft adhesive suitable for sensitive skin. Provox® StabiliBase sticks well to the skin and is also suitable for a deep stoma, especially for frequent speaking with Provox XtraHMEs or hands-free speaking. 

 

Provox® LaryTube™ With Ring 
Is attached with an adhesive baseplate and has an interface for Provox HMEs.  

Provox® Plug
To temporarily stop leakage through the voice prosthesis. You can continue eating and drinking with it in place. Speaking is not possible.

Provox® TruTone EMOTE™
An electrolarynx that can be useful as a backup product for speaking. 

Care products

Provox® Cleaning Towels
Disposable products to help clean around the stoma.  
 
Provox® Swabs
Disposable products for easy and hygienic tube cleaning and come in four sizes. Provox Swab XL can be particularly useful for cleaning tubes and buttons.  
 
Provox® Protectors
Thick, absorbing stoma protectors. Provox Protector large can be particularly useful to wear over the Micron HME when attending hospital appointments.

Always contact your clinician before trying a new product to make sure the product is right for you. 

For more information about the products and instructions for use, see our product section.

*Important notes: Please refer to the Instructions for Use for full information on the product. Provox® Micron™ is a prescription-only product in the United States. Provox® Micron™ has not been tested specifically for protection against the COVID-19 virus. Tests show bacterial and virus filtration efficiency to be ≥99%. Since pathogens can leave and enter the body in other ways, such as the mouth, nose, and eyes, 100 percent protection cannot be guaranteed. Protective measures against the coronavirus as communicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) among others, also apply to people using Provox® Micron™.

Sources:

Hennessy M, Bann D, Patel V, Saadi R, Krempl G, Deschler D, et al. A Commentary on the Management of Total Laryngectomy Patients. Special Collection: COVID-19 Preprints: Authorea; 2020.  

Coronavirus outbreak and how laryngectomee and neck breathers can prevent getting the infection. Posted by Itzhak Brook MD, 25th January 2020 on www.dribrook.blogspot.com

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Ph: +61 1800 286 728
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