Home Oxygen Therapy
There are a great many options today for
the oxygen-user. There are standard in-home concentrators that work off
your electrical current. These are most generally accompanied by
compressed, portable oxygen systems for back up during power failures and
for going out and leaving home.
Compressed portable systems are becoming
smaller and lighter to carry then they once were and the time one canister
can be used is prolonged with the use of an oxygen-conserving device, like
a pulse-dose regulator.
One advantage of the concentrator and
compressed portables is that you can take it with you on short trips and
have extra spare portable units with you. Newer concentrators are on the
market are made for traveling. Use of an inverter in your vehicle will
allow its use off of your car batteries DC current as well. It is
suggested that you have a reputable car repair center install one adequate
for your units needs.
Another option for oxygen-users is liquid oxygen. The portable units are
very small and lightweight and do last much longer than the compressed
system. They require a large liquid reservoir maintained in your home,
which must be refilled on a routine basis by your supplier. You fill your
own portable from the standing reservoir. The drawbacks to these units are
occasional portable freeze-ups and many suppliers only provide you with
one portable tank.
It is suggested that if you use liquid o2
you have some portable compressed units for emergencies. There are many
different liquid systems on the market today and research is the key to
determining which system may work best for you. Some liquid o2 systems
only work on a demand or pulse-dose system and have liter limitations that
may not work for some people. Others simply love their systems and highly
Other factors contribute to your decisions on supplemental oxygen
systems. Your general overall needs, the liters of oxygen you require,
whether you are a chronic mouth-breather or can easily breathe through
your nose. Other contributing factors are what services are available by
your DME (durable medical equipment) supplier, along with contracting
providers allowed by your insurance companies.
Many major national suppliers have sites on the Web that you can
search. Some fantastic sites we have found with some great information
written by others COPDers are:
Pete Wilson, a fellow COPD patient, has an excellent site called “Portable
Oxygen: A User’s Prospective” outlining many aspects of oxygen-use and
various systems. Included is information on providers, a general
overview, compressed, liquid, traveling, flying, conserving devices, just
to list a few of the items discussed on his site. To view his site, please
go to the following link:
Ron O’Kane, another fellow COPD patient, has an excellent site called
“Living with COPD” that deals exclusively with his experience with liquid
oxygen and the portable Helios system. To view his page, please use the
Regardless of what system you choose to use or which your physician or o2
supplier recommends, remember, as with all aspects of COPD, the need for
oxygen is NOT the end of the world. It too is a medication of sorts. You
can still go out, shop, travel, do most of the things you used to do. You
may feel uncomfortable at first, but in actuality very few people “stare."
If anything, they are happy to see you still leading a full and productive
life. Before long, it will not seem too much different from wearing your
glasses or a pair of earrings.
If you are having trouble adjusting to your new oxygen requirements,
please join us in our main Chat Room. Many of us have struggled through
the same fears, lack of understanding and confusion that you may be facing
now. The support is here at COPD-International.com, please feel free to
take advantage of it.
Source: Compiled by COPD-International