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Is Vaseline OK?

I need some help from our readers! A recent event gave me a different perspective on how lip balm can be marketed. Let me give you a quick run down.

Patient is checked into the hospital. A nasal cannula in inserted into the nostrils to provide a flow of oxygen. The patient has dry lips. My purse has Vaseline. (No hand-crafted lip balm! GASP!) So the Vaseline is used to help the dry lips of the patient. The nursing staff goes crazy! It is explained to us that Vaseline is a petroleum product and it is combustible so it should not be used with the oxygen providing cannula. I asked “Combustible or Flammable?” The answer was “BOTH!” The nursing staff offered a cherry flavored Chapstick brand product instead. My brain is now on “HUH?!” mode.

So, we can understand the need for caution when oxygen is being provided but lip products don’t cause sparks, and a product is either rated flammable or combustible but it isn’t both, and Chapstick is made with petroleum products.

For those of you in the nursing or medical policy field, would you educate us? Not only do I think that being aware as a medical patient/customer is a good thing, but I also think this can give lip balm makers a chance to market their wares to a new market.

Some helpful hints for those that want to market to hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, and dentists:
1) make sure your claims can be substantiated!
2) less flavor to no flavor added is a good thing!
3) label clearly. No one has time to hunt down your ingredients or the safety of the product when the hospital stay is in the emergency room. Make your data CLEAR and easily found.

Go ahead readers! Research and teach us something!


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