Does Your Gender Dictate Your Oxygen Consumption?

A new study has found that women require more oxygen when breathing when compared to men. It was discovered that during exercise the muscles around the diaphragm and ribcage that are needed for breathing consume more oxygen in women than in men.
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As more oxygen is required by the respiratory muscles to breathe, women consume more energy and require a higher oxygen intake, which increases during exercise. Therefore women need to breathe more to compensate for this increased oxygen requirement.
Previous research indicated that women’s airways ate narrower than men’s, even when both have the same sized lungs and therefore moving the same amount of oxygen through the airways costs more energy-wise for women than for men.
The study also suggested that if women’s respiratory muscles require more oxygen then blood flow is directed here and may be reduced from other parts of the body such as the leg muscles and for cardiac output. Therefore the physical performance of other parts of the body may decrease due to the focus of the body to concentrate the oxygen to travel mainly to the respiratory muscles.
The findings could prove important in the treatment of lung disorders, as a reduced lung capacity combined with harder working muscles may lead to a higher energy demand, with it being greater in women. These findings could be important in the clinical management of people with lung disorders and lead to more focus on the gender of the patient as to how best to treat them such as altering their fitness programs.
 
 
References: http://health.usnews.com and http://www.foxnews.com

Interesting facts about oxygen

Oxygen surrounds us and is fundamental for life and yet we can take it for granted and not realise that it’s a lot more than just a component of the air.

  1. Our atmosphere today contains around 21 percent oxygen. About 300 million years ago oxygen levels reached 35 percent and insects were able to grow super-large- think  dragonflies with the wingspans of hawks.
  1. Oxygen does not actually burn as people think it does. However it does support the combustion of other substances and without a supply of oxygen, combustion ceases. If you  think about it, if oxygen itself actually burnt, simply striking a match would be enough to burn all of the oxygen in our planet’s atmosphere.
  1. Almost two-thirds of the weight of living things comes from oxygen, mainly because living  things contain a lot of water and 88.9 percent of water’s weight comes from oxygen.
  1. Oxygen (O2) is very unstable in our planet’s atmosphere as it is very reactive and must be constantly replenished by photosynthesis in green plants. Without plant life, our atmosphere   would contain almost no oxygen. If we discover any other planets with atmospheres rich in  oxygen, we will know that life is almost certainly present on these planets as significant  quantities of oxygen will only exist on planets when it is released by living things.
  1. The Northern (and Southern) Lights: The green and dark-red colours in the aurora Borealis (and Australis) are caused by oxygen atoms. Highly energetic electrons from the solar wind split oxygen molecules high in earth’s atmosphere into excited, high energy atoms. These atoms lose energy by emitting photons, producing awe-inspiring light shows. These usually occur in the polar regions because solar electrons will accelerate along our planet’s magnetic field lines until they hit the atmosphere in the polar regions.
  1. A common urban myth is that hyperventilation is caused by breathing in too much oxygen. When we hyperventilate, we breathe too quickly, and this can lead to symptoms such as headache, light-headedness, dizziness, chest pains, tingling, slurred speech, fainting and spasms. Hyperventilation actually causes us to get rid of too much carbon dioxide from our bodies. The trouble with this is that we need carbon dioxide in our blood to stop it from becoming too alkaline. When we hyperventilate, we lose too much carbon dioxide, which disturbs the balance of substances in our blood, causing its pH to increase; this causes the blood vessels leading to our brains to get narrower, slowing the blood flow and decreasing the amount of oxygen reaching vital organs, leading to the symptoms of hyperventilation.
  1. As a gas, oxygen is clear. However as a liquid, it’s pale blue. If you’ve ever wondered what  swimming in a pool of liquid oxygen would be like, the answer is very, very cold,(according to Carl Zorn of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility). Oxygen must get down to minus 297.3 F (minus 183.0 C) to liquefy, so frostbite would be a bit of a  problem.

References: http://www.chemicool.com/elements/oxygen-facts.html and http://www.livescience.com/28738-oxygen.html

A safe and happy flight with portable oxygen

Just because you need to travel with medical oxygen, this need not restrict the opportunities to travel overseas it just takes a little bit more planning. Flying with a Disability offers you the following advice to ensure a safe, happy flight. 
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Travellers who require oxygen for medical use are, unfortunately, subject to a charge per bottle. This rate varies between airline, and can be quite expensive. You will need to contact the airline at least 48hrs prior to flying to advise the flow rate, and to get full medical clearance, though this tends to be minor technicality. 
Charges for portable medical oxygen can vary greatly, usually between £30 and £100 ($50 – $150). It is interesting to note that many airlines charge not per canister, but per leg of your trip. So in a flight which involves two legs, you’re going to be charge twice as much a direct flight, despite the fact that you may be covering the same distance in the same length of time. 
Economically, therefore, it can work out a lot cheaper if you can organise a direct flight, though this may not always be possible.
If you need help with planning your trip use specialised medical oxygen companies who can help answer all your queries and make your journey stress-free and a safe landing.
There is also some planning whilst safely on the ground with back up services available for portable oxygen concentrators whilst travelling overseas so you can ensure to have a great holiday with medical oxygen.

One day we will provide our clients with some 'grains' opposed to a POC to travel with.

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Just a few grains of the newly synthesized material could allow us to stay underwater without scuba tanks

Using specially synthesized crystalline materials, scientists from the University of Southern Denmark have created a substance that is able to absorb and store oxygen in such high concentrations that just one bucketful is enough to remove all of the oxygen in a room. The substance is also able to release the stored oxygen in a controlled manner when it is needed, so just a few grains could replace the need for divers to carry bulky scuba tanks.
The key component of the new material is the element cobalt, which is bound in a specially designed organic molecule. In standard form – and depending on the available oxygen content, the ambient temperature, and the barometric pressure – the absorption of oxygen by the material from its surroundings may take anything from seconds to days.
“An important aspect of this new material is that it does not react irreversibly with oxygen – even though it absorbs oxygen in a so-called selective chemisorptive process,” said Professor Christine McKenzie from the University of Southern Denmark. “The material is both a sensor, and a container for oxygen – we can use it to bind, store, and transport oxygen – like a solid artificial hemoglobin.”

The crystalline material changes color when absorbing or releasing oxygen: black when satu...

The crystalline material changes color when absorbing or releasing oxygen: black when saturated, pink when oxygen released (Photo: University of Denmark)

Varying the constituent structure of the material can also bind and release oxygen at different rates. This means it could be used to regulate oxygen supply in fuel cells or create devices like face masks that use layers of the material to provide pure oxygen to a person directly from the air, without the need of other equipment.
Even more interestingly, the material may also be configured in a device that could absorb oxygen directly from water and allow a diver to stay submerged for long periods of time, without the need for bulky air tanks.
“This could be valuable for lung patients who today must carry heavy oxygen tanks with them,” explains Professor McKenzie. “But also divers may one day be able to leave the oxygen tanks at home and instead get oxygen from this material as it ‘filters’ and concentrates oxygen from surrounding air or water. A few grains contain enough oxygen for one breath, and as the material can absorb oxygen from the water around the diver and supply the diver with it, the diver will not need to bring more than these few grains.”
Using x-ray diffraction techniques to peer inside the atomic arrangement of the material when it had been filled with oxygen, the scientists realized that once the oxygen has been absorbed it can be stored in the material until it is released by heating the material gently or subjecting it to a vacuum.
“We see release of oxygen when we heat up the material, and we have also seen it when we apply vacuum,” said Professor McKenzie. “We are now wondering if light can also be used as a trigger for the material to release oxygen – this has prospects in the growing field of artificial photosynthesis.”
There’s no word as yet on any possible commercial production or public availability of the material.
The research was published in the journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemical Science.
Source: University of Southern Denmark.

Medical Oxygen

Oxygen was known to be the only element that supports respiration as early as 1800 and was first used in the medical field in 1810. However, it took about 150 years for the gas to be used throughout medicine. In the early to mid 20th century oxygen therapy became rational and scientific, and today modern medicine could not be practiced without the support that oxygen supplies.
Medical oxygen is used to:

  • provide a basis for virtually all modern anaesthetic techniques
  • restore tissue oxygen tension by improving oxygen availability in a wide range of conditions such as COPD, cyanosis, shock, severe hemorrhage, carbon monoxide poisoning, major trauma, cardiac/respiratory arrest
  • aid resuscitation
  • provide life support for artificially ventilated patients
  • aid cardiovascular stability

 

New App Measures Blood Oxygen Levels using Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops

A great article below posting about technology advances and Oxygen.

On to the topic of the moment, a new smart app device developed at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. But first a little background. Ever heard of a pulse oximeter? If familiar with hospitalizations then you probably have seen one in action. If not then think of the movie ET, and the alien’s glowing finger and maybe that will strike a chord with your.
When ET’s finger pulsed red it was a sign that he was alive and well. Steven Spielberg probably got the idea for this from seeing pulse oximeters at work. With my daughter’s heart disease I became very familiar with this important indicator of wellness.
Pulse oximeters measure oxygen saturation in the blood. They do this by taking advantage of the light absorptive capability of hemoglobin. When attached to a finger the device tracks blood from each pulse or heartbeat as it passes by the light sensor. A pulse oximeter houses an infrared and red light generator, a light detector and a microprocessor. The greater amount of infrared light absorbed by the light detector the higher the oxygen saturation reading. On room air a reading in the high 90s is most desirable. Lower readings indicate compromised airways, pneumonia, heart disease and many other medical conditions one of which is preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy and often can lead to death for the mother and infant if not detected early.
Pulse oximeters are readily available in Developed World hospitals but not so much in the Developing World. Hence a group of scientists at the University of British Columbia came up with an alternative. With funding from the Canadian government and private investors they developed what they are calling the Phone Oximeter, a $40 device that takes pulse oximetry out of the hospital and makes medical-grade diagnostics possible anywhere. A standard medical sensor connects to the audio port of virtually any mobile device. It can be used with tablets, laptops and smartphones.
With preeclampsia killing 76,000 pregnant woman every year and more than 500,000 unborn or newborn children, and with 99% of these deaths occurring in the Developing World the Phone Oximeter is about to begin medical trials targeting 80,000 pregnant women in India, Pakistan, Mozambique and Nigeria.
 
phone oximeter

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. (NHS direct)

Oxygen-Users-Mall-Walkers
Typical symptoms of COPD include:

  • increasing breathlessness when active
  • a persistent cough with phlegm
  • frequent chest infections
Not everybody with COPD has a problem with getting enough oxygen into their blood and getting rid of enough carbon dioxide. If your type of COPD causes this, over time, your body becomes stressed and unhealthy.
Oxygen therapy can help! In fact, getting oxygen can prevent all those bad effects that happen when blood oxygen levels drop. Oxygen can reduce the strain on your heart. Oxygen can reduce shortness of breath. It will help you to stay more active and exercise longer and harder. It will help you think and remember better. And it will help you sleep better. Oxygen therapy CAN make a big difference in how you feel.
Oxygen therapy is a medical treatment. It must be prescribed by a doctor. For people with COPD, oxygen therapy can be a helpful part of their treatment plan. The prescription your doctor writes will include:

  • If you need oxygen for rest, exercise and/or sleep, and how much in liters per minute (lpm) for each activity.
  • How many hours a day oxygen should be used.
  • What type of oxygen system you should use.

COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases in the UK. It usually affects people over the age of 35, although most people are not diagnosed until they are in their fifties.
It is thought there are over 3 million people living with the disease in the UK, of which only about 900,000 have been diagnosed. This is because many people who develop symptoms of COPD do not get medical help because they often dismiss their symptoms as a ‘smoker’s cough’.
COPD affects more men than women, although rates in women are increasing.
Find out more about our services using medical oxygen www.oxygenworldwide.com

Going on holiday with a respiratory condition

Holiday tips
• Plan in advance: if you leave things to the last minute, you could forget something crucial. Think about how far you can walk, how many stairs you can manage, access to toilets and what transport you can use.
• Be realistic: places you liked in the past may not be suitable now. Pick something you and your carer can cope with physically.
• Shop around: different companies have different policies for people with lung conditions, so find the best deal for you. Many travel agents offer holidays for people with special requirements.
• Ask questions: travel firms are used to dealing with special requirements. They should be able to answer all of your queries and concerns.
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Holidays in the UK
How do I choose my accommodation?
Tourism for All’s National Accessible Accommodation Standard assesses all types of accommodation, including self-catering, for accessibility. It puts accommodation into four mobility categories:
• Category One – suitable for people able to climb a flight of stairs that have extra fittings to aid balance.
• Category Two – suitable for someone who needs a wheelchair some of the time but can manage a maximum of three steps.
• Category Three – suitable for people who depend on a wheelchair but who can transfer unaided to and from the wheelchair in a seated position.
• Category Four – suitable for a person who depends on the use of a wheelchair and needs help from a carer or a mechanical hoist to transfer to and from the wheelchair.
 
Holidays abroad
Many people with a lung condition think they can’t go abroad, but this isn’t true. As in the UK, packages differ, so shop around. Always check with your doctor or health care professional to make sure you are well enough to travel before deciding where to go, and always plan your arrangements in advance.
How do I get there?
Ferry
Many ferry companies have lifts, toilets and other facilities accessible to people with disabilities. They can offer priority loading and special parking to vehicles with disabled passengers.
Trains
Eurostar trains have been designed to cater for passengers with special needs. Some coaches have wheelchair access and allow oxygen containers on board. If you’re travelling further afield in Europe, contact the relevant European train company for its policy on travelling with oxygen.
Car
Make sure the car you are travelling in has been checked and/or serviced before you travel. Check whether your insurance company requires a green card – a document that makes it easier for vehicles to move freely across foreign borders. In the UK, Blue Badges allow drivers of passengers with severe mobility problems to park close to where they need to go. The UK has agreed informal parking arrangements with other European Union (EU) countries, so you may be able to use the Blue Badge abroad. You can find out more at www.direct.gov.uk/en/
disabledpeople/motoringandtransport/dg_4001061.
Holidaying abroad with oxygen
If you need oxygen for use throughout your holiday, you will need to make arrangements for the oxygen to be provided before you travel.
If you are travelling outside of Europe, you will need to contact an oxygen company that supplies the country you will be visiting.
Some travellers have found that hiring a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is an alternative to arranging oxygen supplies for the majority of their holiday. However you may still need to consider arranging a back-up supply of oxygen for emergencies. If you are travelling by plane,
you should bear in mind that different airlines have different policies for using and carrying oxygen and medical devices such as POCs on board. Always check with the airline you are travelling with before you book.
 
 

health warning in UK for air pollution

The government has issued health warnings due to high levels of air pollution spreading across England this week.
The pollution is a mix of local and European emissions and dust from the Sahara desert, and is affecting parts of southern England, the Midlands and East Anglia.
The elderly and those with lung or heart disease are urged to avoid strenuous exercise outside.
British Lung Foundation honorary medical adviser Dr Keith Prowse spoke today about the implications of high levels of pollution for people with lung disease.

“Air pollution can have the greatest impact on people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, worsening symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness. The dust from the Sahara that we are seeing at the moment are worsening many local air pollution levels.
“When levels of air pollution are high, people with these conditions, or anyone else who finds themselves coughing or wheezing in times of high pollution, should avoid strenuous exercise outdoors and are better off trying to exercise away from pollution hotspots, such as busy roads or during rush hour.
“People who use a reliever inhaler should make sure that they carry it with them. If they feel that their conditions are worsening then they should contact their GPs.”
This is supposed to only last a few days but was high risk for people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Another client thank you!

downloWe have a house at Portugal and found your service browsing the internet. We would like to thank you for arranging the liquid oxygen plus the portable which my husband needed recently so that we still can enjoy our house together which we bought many years ago. Thank you OxygenWorldwide‘ Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson