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This is the fourth part of a series of Blog posts talking in depth about QualiBreath sternum and thorax support.
In here we are going to go through all the FAQ's one category at a time and we want to give you an easy and simple overview of what this special postoperative product is, what it can do and how you can benefit from it if you have had an open heart surgery or other surgeries in the chest and sternum area.
How to use QualiBreath:
When should QualiBreath be applied?
QualiBreath should be applied in the operating room immediately after your surgery by having the hospital staff place it on the bed before you are transferred. Using this practice is undemanding for staff and less challenging for you.
How should QualiBreath be used, under or over your clothes?
QualiBreath is designed to be used directly on the your skin. It can be used over the clothes, however, care should be taken that there are no folds between QualiBreath and the clothing which could irritate your skin.
What is the correct position of QualiBreath?
QualiBreath must be positioned as high as possible at the front of the chest. It should be placed as high as possible at the back without causing irritation underneath the armpits. The shoulder straps can be adjusted for achieving the correct position.
Why is there no underarm shaping on QualiBreath?
Cutting out an area in the QualiBreath band under the armpits would eliminate the important circumferential tension efficiency and the lateral support of the sternum corresponding to the depth of an underarm shaping.
What to do if you feel QualiBreath bothers you under the arms?
This may happen specially when you are bedridden more than expected which can cause QualiBreath to be pushed up at the back. If the shoulder straps are crossed at the back, uncross and readjust them for a lower position on the back. Eventually use the Axillapad perspiration pads accessory to protect the armpits.
Can you position the QualiBreath on your own?
Not immediately after surgery. QualiBreath should initially be applied by a health care professional in the OR or in the ICU. When you are mobile and have learned the correct arm movements for protection of the sternum, you can easily position QualiBreath without help.
How do the QualiBreath handles work?
The handles should be used by both hands while the upper arms are kept close to the chest. Place each thumb under the material fold that contains the bar handle at both sides of the sternum. Then place the other fingers behind the bar handle on the opposite side and simply close both hands as a fist. This action will bring the two bar handles together in parallel, thereby stretching the elastic band at its full height, add extra circumferential support to the thorax and increase the lateral reinforcement on the sternum.
When should you use the QualiBreath handles?
The handles should be grasped for additional reinforcement during coughing and sneezing. It is also very much appreciated during deep breathing exercises or other painful situations. The QualiBreath is recommended to be firmly tightened on the upper part of the chest, and there is normally no need for a lot of extra force.
Is the distance between the QualiBreath handles the same on all sizes?
No, the distance between the handles becomes proportionally larger, the larger the size of the QualiBreath.
How can drainage tubes be accommodated with QualiBreath?
Normally the drainage tubes will exit below the lower elastic margin. Depending on a your build and figure, the drains may exit without difficulties underneath the elastic material
Can QualiBreath be used in bed?
Yes, it is designed to be used directly on your skin, under your clothes, in or out of bed.
Should QualiBreath be used during the day or at night only?
QualiBreath should be used both day and night until the sternum bone has healed, which means up to 8 weeks.
How is QualiBreath closed?
QualiBreath has an adjustable Velcro closure at the front left side. Each QualiBreath size is adjustable over a width of 15 cm for an optimal fitting and breathing support.
Is QualiBreath available for left-handed patients?
Yes. Just specify RIGHT- side closure on the order. If nothing is specified, QualiBreath is always supplied with the standard left-side closure.
Is the QualiBreath a one-size fits all?
No, a correct size must be chosen. The better the fit, the more efficient and more comfortable it is for you.
Is QualiBreath warm to use?
No. The special chosen material is ventilated and for every horizontal line of 7 mm material there are 3 mm line of open space for the skin to “breathe”.
Some people perspire excessively. Does QualiBreath increase perspiration?
No. Normally not since the QualiBreath material is ventilated. Patients with excessive perspiration under the armpits may want to use the QualiBreath accessory, AxillaPad perspiration pads which can easily be exchanged as needed.
Can the QualiBreath cause irritation to the skin?
Most unlikely. All seams are on the outside of the material facing away from the patient’s skin including the manufacturer’s labels, and the bar handles are totally integrated inside the material. Furthermore there are no buckles or other rigid items to cause pressure points on the skin.
Can the QualiBreath elastic material cause any allergic reaction?
Most unlikely. The QualiBreath material is free of natural rubber latex (NO NRL) also called Latex-free.
What can be done if QualiBreath is not high enough on your chest ?
Patients have different builds. Try to cross the shoulder straps at the back and fasten them normally at the front. This will pull the QualiBreath higher both at the front and back.
What can be done if QualiBreath is closed at the innermost Velcro but does not give you enough support?
In this case a too large QualiBreath size has been chosen - a solution can be to attach the Velcro closure directly on the blue material for a tighter fit while ensuring the bar handles still have the sternum centrally between them. If the shoulder straps thereby get into a too distorted position to cause discomfort, we recommend to choose a new, correct size.
Is QualiBreath washable?
Yes. For longevity of the elastic material we recommend to wash it at 30°C without tumble drying. It is possible to wash QualiBreath at 60°C, but should not be done more than 3 times, since the elasticity will loose some strength at each wash – as with any other elastic material.
Should QualiBreath only be used during hospitalisation?
No. QualiBreath is a “one-per-patient” product and should follow the patient who needs to use it for 8 weeks or more at home.
How can the bar handles be used when QualiBreath is worn underneath the clothes?
The handles are easily grasped through most materials used for shirts, T-shirts or blouses. It is usually not necessary to wear an open shirt – QualiBreath can be completely hidden and used discreetly under your clothes.
For how long time should you use QualiBreath?
You should use it until the sternum bone has properly healed, which means up to 8 weeks. You can use it for longer if you feel it helps manage your breathing and any pain and that it supports your movements.
In the next blog post we will be discussing QualiBreath compared to other devices so be sure to check back or sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date.
Do you have any questions about QualiBreath you would like us to answer ?
Have you used QualiBreath or other chest supports? Tell your story in a comment below.