The Blom-Singer HME System
BREATHE HEALTHY, SPEAK CONFIDENTLY
The Blom-Singer® HME System consists of the HME cartridge and the TruSeal adhesive housing.
Blom-Singer Classic Flow HME Cartridge
The new Blom-Singer® HME System features our integrated MucusShield™ occluder that provides protection to the HumidiFilter from mucus secretions— and creates an air-tight seal closure for speech.
EasyTouch™ Speech Button
The EasyTouch speech button represents an innovative step forward because it makes stoma occlusion simple.
• Users need only press the EasyTouch button with minimal, manual force, and it closes to produce voice.
• The feeling is definite. Users can feel when it’s completely closed, so they can speak with more confidence.
• Release the EasyTouch button, and it instantly returns to its open, breathing position.
How the Blom-Singer® HME System Works
In addition to our innovative EasyTouch speech button and MucusShield™ occluder, the new Blom-Singer HME includes extra features designed to help users breathe easily and speak with confidence.
Daily disposable, single use device
The Blom-Singer® HME System is a daily-disposable device that comes fully assembled in a 30-day supply. You simply put on a new one each day and discard the previous unit.
The Blom-Singer® HME System is a two-piece unit that consists of an HME cartridge and a TruSeal® adhesive housing. The nonsterile HME features:
• A HumidiFilter foam filter for heat and moisture exchange with an antimicrobial agent to inhibit bacterial growth on the filter.
• Our innovative EasyTouch speech button that makes stoma occlusion simple, allowing for more confident speaking.
• Our integrated MucusShield™ occluder that provides protection to the HumidiFilter from mucus secretions, and creates an air-tight seal closure for speech.
HME Health Benefits
Prior to having a laryngectomy, the air you breathe is warmed, moistened and filtered by tissues in your nose and throat before it reaches your trachea and lungs.
An HME is designed to help laryngectomees regain some of these lost respiratory functions.
When placed over your tracheostoma, an HME captures warm and moist air in a filter as it is exhaled from your body.
The cool, dry air you breathe in passes through the filter where it is warmed and moistened as it enters your body.
Health Benefits of an HME
Use of an HME helps to protect your trachea and lower airway from drying and cooling.
To maintain a healthy respiratory tract, it’s critical to breathe in air that is filtered and contains the proper heat and moisture content.
An HME should be used daily for as long as possible to receive the following benefits from its use.
Many laryngectomees suffer from involuntary coughing and excessive mucus production due to loss of their larynx. Studies indicate patients using a Blom-Singer HME have experienced a 60% reduction in mucus when using the device for at least seven consecutive days. This amount of time is needed to allow the airway sufficient time to recognize the benefits of the HumidiFilter. 1,2
Humidified and Filtered Breathing
When using an HME, a large percentage of the moisture and heat in every breath is conserved and returned to the bronchi and lungs. This helps reduce coughing, dryness and mucus secretions. Clinical studies also report improvements in shortness of breath, fatigue and malaise, sleep problems, anxiety and depression levels. 3,4
Increased Airway Resistance
Using an HME aides in resistance to airflow, a role normally played by your nose. It is important for your lungs to benefit from good airflow resistance to supply the body with oxygen effectively, and eliminate carbon dioxide from your blood. Daily use of an HME has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on tissue oxygen saturation and optimal lung ventilation. 6,7
Antibacterial Inhibition on the Filter
The HumidiFilter foam filter is treated with an agent to inhibit bacterial growth on the filter for a more hygienic environment.
Improved Quality of Life
Reduced mucus, less coughing, and improved voice quality can increase your self-confidence, and give you more freedom in social situations by reducing the discomfort that comes with feeling as though your condition is drawing unwanted attention. 4,5
Inserting the Blom-Singer HME Cartridge
Daily Use of The Blom-Singer HME System
The disposable Blom-Singer HME is designed for daily, one-time use. Never clean or remove the HumidiFilter foam filter from its cartridge. To maintain proper function of the HME system, it should be replaced at least once a day.
TruSeal® Adhesive Housing Attachment
A properly attached HME system provides an airtight seal around your stoma. Before you insert an HME cartridge, a TruSeal adhesive housing must first be attached to the skin surrounding your tracheostoma (Figure 1) according to the supplied user instruction manual.
• Insert the HME cartridge into the TruSeal adhesive housing, and gently push the cartridge until
it snaps into place.
• A properly inserted HME cartridge will sit flush and snug inside the TruSeal housing (Figure 2).
Breathing through the HME cartridge should be comfortable and easy. If it isn’t, remove the HME system and consult your medical professional for assistance. When you begin using the Blom-Singer HME system, a slight increase in airflow resistance will be felt.
However, this resistance is a normal function of the device that may require some getting used to. Using an HME aides in resistance to airflow, a role normally played by your nose. It is important for your lungs to benefit from good airflow resistance to supply your body with oxygen effectively, and eliminate carbon dioxide from your blood. The HME cartridge also contains side and top airflow vents to maximize airflow for easy breathing and prevent clothing from obstructing your breathing.
If you speak using a tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis, voicing with the Blom-Singer HME System is produced by depressing the speech button. Simply place your finger on top of the EasyTouch™ speech button and press down lightly. Hold the button completely down in this position until you’ve stopped speaking.
When depressed for speech, the speech button gives users assurance that the device is completely closed (Figure 3). When you release your finger
pressure, the speech button instantly returns to its open, breathing position (Figure 4). Users of other voicing methods should follow the voicing instructions provided by their medical professional.
It is highly recommended that the HME cartridge be removed from the TruSeal adhesive housing prior to coughing. To remove the cartridge, hold down the TruSeal housing with one hand while grasping the finger lip on the cartridge with your other hand.
Pull the cartridge carefully until it releases from the housing. Be careful not to separate the TruSeal adhesive housing from your skin. This will cause air leakage around the stoma.
The HME cartridge contains an integrated MucusShield™ occluder that helps protect the foam filter from direct contact with secretions. The cartridge may be wiped with a dry cloth if cleaning is necessary.
However, if the cartridge should become heavily soiled, remove it and replace it with a new one. Never wash an HME cartridge with water, soap or cleaning agents.
*For complete instructions, please refer to the Blom-Singer HME System user instruction manual supplied with the device.
|BE1055E2||Blom-Singer® HME System, Heat and Moisture Exchange Cartridge, box of 30|
|BE6054||Blom-Singer® TruSeal® Adhesive Housing, box of 30|
|The Blom-Singer HME Cartridge BE 1055EZ and HME System BE 1055s are not available in Germany.|
Can I use the Blom-Singer HME System with a Barton-Mayo button?
Yes. The Blom-Singer HME is compatible with inter-stoma style connectors such as the Barton-Mayo™ Tracheostoma Button. Please refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for use supplied with that product.
How long does it take to notice a reduction in mucus?
Noticing a reduction in mucus takes just a little bit of patience. In studies using the HumidiFilter heat and moisture exchanger, patients experienced a 60% reduction in mucus when the device was used for at least seven consecutive days. This time period is needed to allow your airway sufficient time to recognize the benefits of the HumidiFilter.
It’s important to note that no two people are exactly the same, so you may experience a reduction in mucus in slightly less,
or slightly more time.
Is it difficult to breathe with the Blom-Singer HME System?
Breathing through the HME should be comfortable and easy. However, when you begin using the Blom-Singer HME system, a slight increase in airflow resistance will be felt. Please be aware that this resistance is a normal function of the device that may require some getting used to.
Using an HME aides in resistance to airflow, a role normally played by your nose. It is important for your lungs to benefit from good airflow resistance to supply the body with oxygen effectively, and eliminate carbon dioxide from your blood. Daily use of an HME has been demonstrated to have a positive effect on tissue oxygen saturation and optimal lung ventilation.
Many patients report they easily adapt and get use to breathing through their HME in a week to 10 days, and that the health benefits of less mucus and less coughing make being patient during this time well worth it.
If after this period of time you find breathing to be difficult or arduous, remove your HME system and consult your medical professional for assistance.
How soon can I use an HME?
No two people are the same, and everybody’s recovery from a laryngectomy procedure is different. However, the sooner you can begin using your HME the easier it will be to adapt to breathing through it.
Your medical professional will be able to speak with you about your individual circumstances, and provide you specific advice about when you can begin using an HME.
1. Blom, E.D., Singer M.I., and Hamaker, R.C., Tracheoesophageal Voice Restoration Following Total Laryngectomy. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.1998.
2. Grolman, W., Blom, E., Branson, R., Schouwenburg, P., Hamaker, R. (1997) An Efficiency Comparison of Four Heat and Moisture Exchangers Used in the Laryngectomized Patient. The Laryngoscope, 107; June 1997: 814-820.
3. Ackerstaff AH, Hilgers FJ, et al.(1993) Improvements in respiratory and psychosocial functioning following total laryngectomy by the use of a heat and moisture exchanger. Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, 1993, Nov; 102 (11): 878-83.
4. Ackerstaff AH, Hilgers FJ, et al.(1995) Heat and moisture exchangers as a treatment option in the post-operative rehabilitation of laryngectomized patients. Clinical Otolaryngology, 1995, 20, 504-509.
5. Hilgers FJ, Ackerstaff AH, et al. (1991) The influence of a heat and moisture exchanger (HME) on the respiratory symptoms after total laryngectomy. Clinical Otolaryngology, 1991, 16, 152-156.
6. Blom, Eric D. (1993) Laboratory and clinical investigation of postlaryngectomy airway humidification and filtration. Proceedings of the 1st EGFL Conference and 5th International Congress on Surgical and Prosthetic Voice Restoration After Total Laryngectomy, Grado, Italy.
7. McRae, D. Young, P., Hamilton, J., & Jones, A. (1996) Raising airway resistance in laryngectomees increases tissue oxygen saturation. Clinical Otolaryngology, 21, 366-368.