Q: How does a doctor determine if a patient needs home oxygen therapy?
A: The need for home oxygen therapy is determined by measuring the level of oxygen in an individual’s blood. If the test reveals the blood oxygen level is significantly below normal, home oxygen therapy may be prescribed.
Q: How long do patients use oxygen at home?
A: Some people are given additional oxygen temporarily, while others require it on a long-term basis. The physician will determine how long a patient should receive oxygen, how much should be received and whether it is to be delivered continuously or less than 24 hours a day.
Q: Does oxygen help treat the disease causing low oxygen levels?
A: Not directly, since the damage caused by emphysema and other lung diseases are irreversible. However, by increasing the amount of oxygen inhaled into the lungs, more oxygen can be delivered to tissues and cells throughout the body. This relieves many adverse symptoms associated with low blood oxygen levels and improves the overall quality of life.
Q: Can a person receive too much oxygen?
A: Yes. Too much oxygen can be as dangerous as not receiving enough. It can make you tired and sleepy and, in some cases, even block your ability to know when to take the next breath. For that reason, it is important to use only the prescribed amount.
Q: What are some noticeable changes one may see with a patient receiving home oxygen?
A: They will sleep better, be less irritable, remember better, have more energy and suffer fewer depressions. They tolerate exercise better and usually face fewer hospitalization days. In general, these patients live happier, more productive lives.
Q: How will the patient know when the patient no longer needs oxygen?
A: Unfortunately, once the underlying condition exists, the need for oxygen to relieve symptoms usually remains. However, the doctor may use several different methods, such as blood test, oximetry or testing pulmonary functions to determine the patient’s capability to properly oxygenate themselves without oxygen.
Q: What is an oxygen concentrator?
A: An oxygen concentrator is an electrically operated device that draws in room air, separates the oxygen from the other gases in the air and delivers the oxygen at high concentrations to the patient.
Q: Can I smoke while taking oxygen?
A: No! Not only does smoking negate the positive effects oxygen might have on your condition, but it is also very dangerous to smoke while taking oxygen. Oxygen does not burn, but it does rapidly accelerate combustion. There have been cases where patients have burned their nasal cannula and face by smoking while taking oxygen.
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- Only use a properly grounded wall outlet for your concentrator.
- Do not use an outlet that can be turned off at the wall.
- Do not use extension cords.
- Never use more than 50 combined feet of oxygen tubing.
- Do not place the electrical cord or oxygen tubing under rugs or furniture.
- Use the least amount of tubing to meet your needs to avoid a fall or other hazard.
- Do not spray anything on the concentrator to clean it. Wipe the outside of the concentrator with a damp cloth after you have unplugged it to clean it.
- Call your local utility companies and emergency medical services to alert them that you are using oxygen in the home.
- Do not adjust the flow rate of your oxygen. If your doctor changes your prescription, contact Ed Medical, Inc. promptly.
- Anytime you question the effectiveness of your concentrator, call Ed Medical inc. for a service call.
- Always keep a "No Smoking" sign at the entrance to your home and enforce the no smoking rule.
- Keep oxygen tanks stored at room temperature, and never in closets. Do not leave oxygen tanks in doorways or in other high traffic areas of your home.
- Do not leave electrical cords in doorways or in other high traffic areas of your home.
- Do not leave electrical cords or oxygen tubing near heaters or other appliances that produce high heat.
If you’re having problems with your concentrator or back up system, call Ed Medical. at (615) 822-8888 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you feel your health is poor, contact your doctor or emergency service.
Traveling with Oxygen Cylinders
- Place the oxygen cylinder in a well-ventilated area (not in closets or behind curtains) and a minimum of 8 feet from heaters or heat producing appliances.
- The cylinder is to be upright in its stand when stationary and secure when in transit.
- Place a "No Smoking" sign near the tank; make sure our company name and telephone number is on the sign.
- Run oxygen tubing in the most direct path form the cylinder, avoiding doorways, walkways, heating ducts or heaters.
- Please turn the cylinder valve off when not in use.
- Avoid placing cylinder in direct sunlight or in the trunks of cars.
- Avoid knocking the cylinder over. It is safe to use oxygen cylinders for travel but safety precautions must be observed. A full oxygen cylinder has approximately 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. The stem and valve construction is very strong and accidental leakage of oxygen is rare; however, if this does occur, contact Ed Medical Inc. immediately for instructions.
- The cylinder’s regulator is a delicate instrument and must be treated with care. Avoid bumping or dropping the regulator.