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
Sleep apnea can worsen blood sugar control in people with Type 2 diabetes by disrupting the deepest stage of sleep, a new study suggests. The findings provide another good reason for people with sleep apnea to wear a CPAP mask that helps assure uninterrupted breathing, the standard treatment for the condition, throughout the night.
It is well known that sleep apnea, which causes breathing pauses and dangerous drops in oxygen during sleep, sharply raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes. More severe cases of sleep apnea are generally associated with poorer blood sugar control in diabetics.
While breathing pauses can occur throughout the night in apnea patients, the new study, published in Diabetes Care, found that episodes that occurred during the rapid eye movement, or REM, phase of sleep had the most detrimental effects on long-term blood sugar control.
Most REM sleep occurs in the early morning hours before waking. But research shows that many patients remove their CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, mask in the middle of the night because it can feel uncomfortable, said Dr. Babak Mokhlesi, an author of the new study and the director of the sleep disorders center at the University of Chicago.
As a result, their apnea is more likely to go untreated during REM sleep, a time that may be particularly important for anyone with diabetes, Dr. Mokhlesi said.
reference to Anahad O’Connor, New York Times, 2014
Many people with COPD need supplemental oxygen therapy. Unfortunately, some people who use portable oxygen are wary of traveling with oxygen. So they opt to stay at home instead of going out to see friends, shop, or enjoy a vacation.
But oxygen therapy can actually enhance your physical ability to go places and do things that the advance stage of COPD was keeping you from doing. Once you’ve learned what’s involved, you may find that oxygen gives you more freedom to go places and do things you want to do.
Switch to Portable Oxygen Therapy
If you don’t use one already, you’ll need to switch to a portable oxygen delivery system for trips away from home. Portable oxygen concentrators (POCs), hold compressed oxygen in small tanks. Most POC tanks come with carrying cases and travel carts. These are excellent for using in airports or simply going sightseeing.
POCs run on batteries. Some batteries can last up to five hours. POCs also have AC/DC adapters so they can be plugged in when you are in a car or in a location with electrical outlets. The portable oxygen delivery system will allow you to have more freedom to live an active life.
Always keep the phone number of your oxygen supplier close by. You never know when you might have problems with your portable oxygen — whether you’re in town or out of town. Here are more tips on traveling with oxygen:
Land Travel With Portable Oxygen
First, talk with your doctor. Ask if it’s safe for you to travel with COPD. Let your doctor know about your travel destination. This is particularly important if you are traveling to higher altitudes or traveling outside the country.
If you’re going by car or motor home, you’ll have few restrictions in traveling with oxygen. You can take portable oxygen with you in the vehicle if it’s stored safely. Keep your oxygen in the vehicle during travel but away from heat. Partially roll down a window as oxygen containers give off gasses. These gasses can build up in small spaces and be hazardous.
Never store the portable oxygen concentrator in the trunk or other areas that get hot. And make sure no one in the vehicle smokes.
Depending on how far you’re traveling on land, plan ahead to get refills of oxygen. Your oxygen supplier can help you arrange this before you leave.
If you’re taking a bus, call the bus line before the trip. Ask if you can travel with portable oxygen on the bus. Again, make sure no smoking is allowed on the bus you select.
Traveling with oxygen by train should be fine with portable oxygen. Again, call the railway line ahead of time to check on bringing portable oxygen on board. On the train, stay away from smokers (use the “no smoking” cars only). Also, allow for enough oxygen for the trip plus extra for traveling to and from your destinations.
Day Trips and Eating Out With Portable Oxygen
Even with oxygen therapy, you can go to restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, symphonies, religious gatherings, and other places. Again, to have a successful day trip with portable oxygen, abide by the rules of safety when traveling with oxygen:
- Check the tank before leaving home to make sure you have enough oxygen — enough for the trip to and from the destination, plus extra.
- Make sure your oxygen equipment works well.
- When you arrive at your destination, do not sit in smoking areas or get near smokers.
- Ask to have any candles removed from your table in restaurants.
Cruising With Portable Oxygen
Before you make reservations for a cruise, talk with the cruise line personnel. Ask about the ship’s policies for bringing portable oxygen. Sometimes, supplemental oxygen is provided on the ship. If not, you’ll need to bring plenty of oxygen to last the entire cruise, plus extra.
You may be able to get oxygen refills when the ship docks at each port of call, but ask ahead of time to be sure.
Also, take the appropriate electrical conversion devices for your portable oxygen equipment. While the cruise ships from the U.S. may use standard electrical outlets, converters are especially important to bring when traveling outside the United States.
Air Travel With Oxygen
Many people with COPD must use in-flight supplemental oxygen during air travel. To be able to do this, you will need to make arrangements ahead of time. Here are some guidelines to help you make the trip easier:
- Ask the airline about policies on using portable oxygen when you first make your reservation.
- Find out which portable oxygen concentrators are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use on the flight. Your airline must approve the type of portable oxygen you use in order for you to bring it with you.
- If you don’t have the FAA approved type of container, ask your oxygen provider if you can rent an FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrator.
- Try to get a nonstop or direct flight to alleviate worries about layovers or missing a connecting flight.
- Contact the airlines again 48 hours before takeoff. Remind them that you’re traveling with oxygen. Some airlines must inspect the oxygen tank 48 hours ahead of the flight to approve its use on the plane. Other airlines may provide oxygen to use on the plane for a fee.
- Contact your insurance company to see if you need supplementary coverage for traveling with oxygen during your flight.
- Get a prescription for supplemental oxygen from your physician and keep this with you — always. This prescription should verify the need for in-flight oxygen and also give specifics on how long oxygen should be used and on the oxygen flow rate. The airlines may have their own forms for your physician to fill out — so be sure to get these filled out early.
- At your doctor’s discretion, you may need an increase in the oxygen flow rate during air travel. Be sure you talk to your doctor about this so you have no discomfort breathing when flying at high altitudes.
- The airlines may require you to bring ample batteries to power your POC. Make sure your battery lasts 50% longer than the total time of your trip — from the time you leave your home until you arrive at your final destination. You don’t want to have any gaps in getting necessary oxygen for COPD.
Traveling with oxygen has become much easier with the development of portable oxygen concentrators (POCs). These devices run on a battery pack, can be recharged, plugged into the wall or a cigarette lighter in a car, and can be taken on airplanes.
Commercial airlines must provide a cabin pressure altitude of no more than 8,000 feet of altitude. Your pulmonologist can determine if air travel is safe for you. Your pulmonologist may order an altitude simulation test to help determine your ability to fly safely at this cabin pressure.
If you are going to need oxygen in flight, you must make arrangements with the airline well ahead of time. You can use either the on-board oxygen supply.
The airline will require a physician’s statement. The airlines generally have their own form for the doctor to complete.
Some tips for air travel with POCs:
- Start making arrangements with the airline well ahead of time to find out which POC is allowed. Many airlines list accepted manufacturers and brands on their websites.
- Allow plenty of extra time for check-in.
- Carry several extra battery packs. FAA regulations require enough battery time to cover 150 percent of the flight time.
- POCs and battery packs can be rented for travel, along with your POC.
- Carry an extra three-way plug for recharging your POC in the airport. People often need to recharge their electronic equipment in the airport during layovers, and this will help assure that you will be able to recharge yours.
- POCs are exempt from the carry-on count.
- Carry a prescription for oxygen, signed by your doctor.
For more information about POCs and air travel, go to www.oxygenworldwide.com
OxygenWorldwide provide a service for all medical oxygen users who are travelling and should register.
WHO should register?
If you intend to travel with a portable concentrator and want to be sure alternative oxygen can be supplied in case you encounter problems with your oxygen device you can register below for this service at no cost!
First of all for your peace of mind and secondly to enable us to work out and inform you if we can provide the service you might require in the place and country where you will be going. Although we generally will be able to help you without a pre-registration we can act faster if we have already your details in our database.
WHEN to register?
Any time but the earlier the better as you might want to travel to a certain area where we need to check on availability.
WHO do I call?
In case of an emergency you simply call our 24 hour S.O.S. service on ++ 34 609 657 727
Questions? If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. OxygenWorldwide can, if needed, also arrange oxygen at your destination before your arrival. There is no charge for this registration Register here FREE today.
We all know that exercising is important for a healthy lifestyle, so get out there and get moving! But before you get too far, remember to warm up your muscles by stretching. Flexibility exercises can help loosen up your body, helping you to feel better and more comfortable on a daily basis. You should stretch before all physical activity, even walking. So follow these simple steps to a more flexible body.
If you feel pain, stop immediately and consult your physician or therapist. Never bounce while stretching; make steady movements that help your muscles stretch naturally.
Leg stretch: Sit in a chair with your legs bent in front of you. Straighten your right leg as much as possible without locking your knee. Lengthen your spine then lean forward reaching your hands toward your feet. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then rest and repeat with a flexed foot. Repeat the routine on your left side.
Chest Stretch: Begin by standing with your arms at your side and feet shoulder-width apart. Extend both arms behind your back and clasp your hands together, if possible. Stop when you feel a good stretch or sense discomfort. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds, then rest and repeat.
Quadriceps Stretch: Stand next to a sturdy chair or a counter with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Use the left hand to hold onto the chair or counter for balance. Slowly, bend your right knee back grabbing your right ankle with your right hand until your thigh is straight up and down. Do not lean forward or backward, but stand up straight. (If you can’t grasp your ankle in your hand, just keep your leg as close to perpendicular as possible and hold the bend, or place your foot on the seat of a chair.) Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then repeat on the left side.
Don’t worry if you can’t touch your toes or stretch as far as others, just do your best and improve over time.
Can I carry and use a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) on board my flight?
Most clients are unsure or can be overcome by all the small print on travel websites and the rules when flying abroad to other countries worldwide. Airlines all differ but we can help with most questions on portable oxygen concentrators being the medical oxygen experts when travelling. Oxygen Worldwide can also offer a FREE back up service which allows our customers to receive 24 hour service in case of emergency with replacing oxygen or the machine when on holiday or away from home.
Ryan air allow the following guidelines when flying on their air carriers with portable oxygen concentrators:
Carriage of a POC:
If you wish to carry a POC please contact our Special Assistance line <http://www.ryanair.com/en/questions/contacting-customer-service> to obtain prior approval. Passengers carrying a POC should obtain a Medical Equipment Approval & Baggage Waiver letter by calling the Special Assistance line <http://www.ryanair.com/en/questions/contacting-customer-service> . This approval & waiver letter must be presented at the Bag Drop desk or at the boarding gate if travelling with no checked baggage.
Use of POC during Flight:
If you wish to use a POC during flight please contact our Special Assistance line <http://www.ryanair.com/en/questions/contacting-customer-service> to obtain prior approval, for the use onboard you will be required to complete a ‘Fit to Fly’ form which will be sent to the passenger once the requirement has been notified to our Special Assistance Line.
This completed “Fit to Fly’ form must be returned to Ryanair between 14 up to 2 days prior to travel for validation. The validated “Fit to Fly form must be carried by the passenger on all flights and produced to our cabin crew on boarding the aircraft.
If the POC is to be used onboard it is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure that they have a sufficient number of fully charged batteries for the duration of the flight and any possible delays, as POC or batteries cannot be charged on board.
Click here for important battery information <http://www.ryanair.com/en/questions/important-information-for-the-carriage-of-batteries-for-assistive-devices>
N.B. An oxygen concentrator should not be confused with either compressed oxygen or an oxygen generator which are not permitted to be brought onto a Ryanair aircraft.
If you need help, advice or would like to register for our FREE back up service please contact one of our customer service team for enquiries and quotes on [email protected] for all you portable oxygen concentrator needs, advice and enjoy your travels and planning with all you questions answered.
How does an Oxygen Concentrator work?
An Oxygen Concentrator uses the ambient air, which is normally 80% nitrogen and only 20% Oxygen. The oxygen concentrator separates the two components by using zeolite granules to selectively absorb nitrogen from the compressed air. The compressor raises the air pressure to about 20-lbs per square inch (P.S.I). The compressed air is introduced into one of the canisters containing zeolite granules where nitrogen is selectively absorbed leaving the residual oxygen available for patient use. After about 20 seconds the supply of compressed air is automatically diverted to the second canister where the process is repeated enabling the output of oxygen continue uninterrupted.
While the pressure in the second canister is at 20 P.S.I. the pressure in the first canister is reduced to zero. This allows nitrogen to be released from the zeolite and returned into the atmosphere. The zeolite is then regenerated and ready for the next cycle. By alternating the pressure in the two canisters so that first one and then the other is at 20 P.S.I., a constant supply of oxygen is produced while the zeolite is continually being regenerated. Individual units have an output of up to five litres per minute with an oxygen concentration of up to 95%. What is Zeolite? The word ‘zeolite’ is Greek in origin and means ‘boiling stones’ as natural zeolites visibly lose water when heated. Zeolite is an inorganic porous material having a highly regular structure of pores and chambers that allows some molecules to pass through, and causes others to be either excluded, or broken down. It is in many ways, the inorganic equivalent of organic enzymes, many of which also have specific sized chambers that trap chemicals within our bodies, holding them where they either break down, or react with specific chemicals. Zeolite has many uses.
Who uses O2 concentrators?
COPD Patients suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an illness with disabling symptoms, high cost of care, and substantial mortality. COPD is an obstructive airway disease that is characterized by a reduction noted on the individual’s pulmonary function study. The term COPD is often applied to a family of diseases, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and alpha 1-antitrypsin disease. Currently, therapeutic interventions can slow the progression of these diseases, but they cannot stop or reverse it.
Oxygen concentrators dramatically extends the use time from a supply of oxygen, offering increased mobility with improved comfort and increased efficiency. The short pulse of oxygen delivered during inhalation is almost undetectable, and the humidity in the room air helps maintain a normal level of moisture in the nasal cavity. This greatly reduces the discomfort of dehydration associated with a continuous flow oxygen system.
For more information on medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators and traveling abroad please contact Oxygen Worldwide.
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