Here is a quick tip.
If you are having trouble getting a child to tolerate an oxygen mask, or you need to deliver nitrous oxide via a mask, smear a little flavored lip balm into the inside of the mask to provide a *juicy* pleasant smell.

If you purchase a selection of different flavors you can then ask the child to help you decide which flavored oxygen they will get to breathe.
[ Hat tip to Dr Hollis  for this cool trick. ]

7 Responses to “lip balm and oxygen.”

  1. Wait! You need to be sure the Lip Balm you use Does Not contain Petroleum Jelly (Vaseline & Vicks Do!). These are Never to be mixed with O2 as they are flameable. Knew of a patient once who was fatally injured and Vicks was his nasal Moisture of Choice.

  2. [...] recently posted a tip on using flavored lip balm on the inside of oxygen masks to make them more tolerable for [...]

  3. I vote for Mythbusters, too. It’s definitely a controversial topic. I wasn’t able to find any actual case studies, just a lot of rumors and strong opinions on both sides.
    We nurse types sure are opinionated, aren’t we?


  4. around oxygen you should only be using water based products.

    it depends on the base for the lip balm, the product you show is 40% white petroleum based. Using Vaseline is not recommended either, due to the risk of it spontaneously combusting.

    it is possible to purchase flavoured masks

  5. Interesting…..although I have never heard of spontaneously combusting lip-balm. We use Vasaline on the lips of our patients who are on oxygen therapy all the time, as it dries them out so much.
    Great comment though….could be a job for Mythbusters!

  6. I’m not convinced about this as safe, though it depends on the lip balm ingredients i guess

    Hydrocarbon oil and grease

    Oil and grease are particularly hazardous in the presence of oxygen as they can ignite spontaneously and burn with explosive violence. They should never be used to lubricate oxygen or enriched air equipment (special lubricants which are compatible with oxygen can be used under certain conditions).

  7. The anesthesiologist who took care of my oldest when he had his tonsils out asked him what flavor mask he wanted. I always wondered how he did that! 22+ years ago, so I guess the trick has been around for a while.

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