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
provide life support for artificially ventilated patients
Norman McCombs, a University at Buffaloalumnus and executive at Amherst-basedAirSep Corp., has been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the U.S. government’s highest honor for technological achievement.
McCombs, who lives in Tonawanda, “developed an oxygen production system that spawned a billion dollar industry and helped ease the pain of millions suffering from lung diseases,” according to a release issued by UB. He is AirSep’s senior vice president of research and development.
President Obama will present the medal to McCombs and other award winners at a Feb. 1 ceremony at the White House.
The award is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’sPatent and Trademark Office and recognizes those “who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the nation’s technological workforce,” according to a White House statement.
McCombs is the third person with UB ties to receive the medal. Former engineering professor Esther Takeuchi was honored in 2007 for developing a battery used to power implantable cardiac defibrillators. Wilson Greatbatch, founder of Greatbatch Inc. and a UB alumnus and faculty member, received the award in 1990.
McCombs developed a method of separating gases that produces oxygen, leading to a device called an oxygen concentrator, which is used to treat people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. There are currently about 1.2 million oxygen concentrators in the U.S. alone, a more than $2 billion industry.
Dan Miner is Business First’s enterprise reporter. He also covers education and public companies.
Home oxygen treatment involves breathing high concentrations of oxygen from a cylinder or machine in your home.
The main purpose of home oxygen treatment is to raise your blood oxygen to a level that prevents such harm. It also helps relieve breathlessness and other symptoms of low blood oxygen, such as ankle swelling and blue lips.
How home oxygen treatment can help
Breathing air with a higher concentration of oxygen can help increase the amount of oxygen in your blood. This makes it easier to do activities that might otherwise be more difficult. It also helps reduce the symptoms mentioned above.
Oxygen therapy can help people with a range of health conditions that affect breathing or blood circulation, including:
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – a long-term disease of the lungs
severe long-term asthma
cystic fibrosis – an inherited disease that causes the lungs to become clogged with thick, sticky mucus
pulmonary hypertension – high pressure inside the arteries to the lungs, which causes damage to the right-hand side of the heart
obstructive sleep apnoea – a condition that causes interrupted breathing during sleep
diseases of the nerves and muscles or ribcage
heart failure – when the heart struggles to pump enough blood around the body
People who have oxygen therapy have different requirements. Some people only need oxygen therapy for short periods during the day, when they’re walking about (ambulatory oxygen). Others need it for longer periods and during the night.
Oxygen concentrator machineAn oxygen concentrator machine is convenient if you would benefit from having oxygen for a large number of hours a day, including while you’re asleep. It ensures you have a source of oxygen that never runs out.
A back-up cylinder of oxygen is also provided in case the machine breaks down. Regular maintenance visits will be made to make sure the concentrator is always working properly.
Portable cylinders can provide oxygen at a rate of 2 litres or 4 litres a minute, or have an adjustable scale up to 4 litres a minute. The flow required is determined by your lung specialist or the oxygen service healthcare professional. When full, these cylinders weigh just over five pounds (2.3kg) and hold just under two hours of oxygen (at 2 litres a minute).
Going on holiday
If you are going on holiday in England or abroad you can make arrangements to have home oxygen supplied to you at your destination. Before you arrange your holiday, check with your doctor that you are well enough to travel.
For more information visit OxygenWorldwide or speak to one of our advisors
For those of you with diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or chronic bronchitis, supplemental medical oxygen is a necessity. If you have ever tried to travel with supplemental oxygen, you know how difficult this can be. Being prepared, and knowing how to travel safely with oxygen and where to obtain oxygen at your final destination is vital. This is where OxygenWorldwide can help with 20 years of expertise the team are ready and waiting. On call 24 hours a day book your next trip no matter how short or long haul and you will always be in safe hands.
Safety is a very important issue when traveling by car, as an oxygen tank can become a dangerous projectile in an accident. It is crucial to secure the unit. Your oxygen company can provide you with information about safe ways to store and protect your particular oxygen unit in a vehicle. In case of break down OxygenWorldwide provide a FREE registration to a Back Up Service – complete details online now and await a confirmation from our team.
Portable oxygen concentrators — which form oxygen by extracting and separating it from the surrounding air, and deliver it through a nasal cannula — may be stored in any position, but they should be padded to protect them from impact.
Travel by airplane also takes a good amount of research and preparation. No airline will allow you to bring aboard your own oxygen cylinder, but many airlines have medical oxygen cylinders available for a fee for use on their planes, such as Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Continental, Delta and Japan Airlines. The oxygen containers used on airplanes vary from airline to airline.
You will also need to contact your airline to learn their requirements for advance notification of your need for medical oxygen. Many airlines will need a letter from your physician in advance of the flight, so they can contact him or her to verify liter flow. The letter should have a date of no more than one year prior to the flight (some airlines require a letter dated no more than 10 days prior to the flight), stating the amount of oxygen needed and the flow rate, adjusted to cabin pressure.
In Europe, the rules and regulations for oxygen use on vary from country to country. There is no one place to find the information for a trip that takes you from country to country. Your best bet is to contact OxygenWorldwide’s customer service department who have a wide range of knowledge in these countries.
Being well prepared will make your travels much more enjoyable.
When travelling at home or abroad OxygenWorldwide make travel as carefree as possible for all our customers who use medical oxygen. With international networks worldwide, a team of advisors who speak many languages plus we are contactable 24/7, you know you are in safe hands.
For all or our customers who use portable oxygen concentrators we also have a Simple Oxygen Solutions back up service that you all can register for FREE OF CHARGE. To find out more please register here.
The presence of portable, medical oxygen in the home has grown over the past decade — and so has the need for education about the fire hazards associated with its use.
Medical oxygen adds a higher percentage of oxygen to the air a patient uses to breathe. And fire needs oxygen to burn and if a fire should start in an oxygen-enriched area, the material burning will burn more quickly. When more oxygen is present, any fire that starts will burn hotter and faster than usual, it is crucial to follow safety precautions when medical oxygen is in use in a home.
Oxygen saturates fabric-covered furniture, clothing, hair and bedding, making it easier for a fire to start and spread, according to the regulator. Smoking is the leading heat source resulting in medical oxygen-related fires, injuries and deaths. Homes where medical oxygen is used need specific fire safety rules to protect people from fire and burns.
Simple, safety tips:
• There is no safe way to smoke in the home when oxygen is in use. Patients on oxygen should not smoke.
• Candles, matches, wood stoves and even sparking toys can be ignition sources and should not be used in the home.
• Keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from heat sources, open flames or electrical devices.
• Body oil, hand lotion and items containing oil and grease can easily ignite. Keep oil and grease away from where oxygen is in use.
• Never use aerosol sprays containing combustible materials near the oxygen.
• Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs in and outside the home to remind people not to smoke.
• Ensure smoke alarms are working by testing monthly. Daylight saving time weekends are great times to replace smoke alarm batteries. Also consider using 10-year batteries for smoke alarms.
• Practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room at least twice a year.
Stay safe with OxygenWorldwide and our care team – register your portable oxygen concentrator with us today at [email protected]
1 – We speak a minimum of 5 languages.
2 – Available 24 hours a day
3 – 7 days a week
4 – We cover most holiday (and other) destinations worldwide.
5 – Our personal approach
6 – Prices to suit each individual case
7 – Our S.O.S. back-up service for travellers with POC’s (portable
Contact our team at [email protected] or visit our website www.oxygenworldwide.com for more information.
Traveling with oxygen may seem intimidating. With a little planning, however, it can be easily -– and safely — done.
Before you begin to plan any kind of travel with oxygen, you’ll first need to get clearance from for travel. You’ll want to have his support and expertise to help with your travel plans.
After you’ve obtained a doctor’s clearance for travel, you’ll need to know the regulations and restrictions of traveling with oxygen. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus, or plane there will be some rules to follow and practical things you can do to make traveling with oxygen as easy as possible.
Destination decided, Dates of travel decided and you are ready to speak with the team at Oxygen Worldwide regarding your medical oxygen supply. The expert team can make all the arrangements of your oxygen supply to be at your destination for when you land and begin your adventure. A quote can be obtained easily and smoothly – plus the team at Oxygen Worldwide have years of expertise in traveling abroad with medical oxygen and can answer any questions or queries you may have.
Oxygen Worldwide also offer a FREE back up on your oxygen supply when you register. This will safe guard you with any emergencies and make your travels completely stress free – making your travels easier.
Speak to a member of our tram regarding your oxygen requirements at oxygenworldwide.com or email [email protected]
What do I need to do in advance to travelling?
If you like to travel but have a medical condition that requires you use an oxygen tank, it’s important that your manage the transporting of your tank appropriately so as to avoid obstacles to your plans. Here are some good rules and regulations to become familiar with prior to traveling with oxygen. As a travel oxygen user it is entirely your responsibility to make yourself aware of your airlines requirements regarding use of portable oxygen concentrators on-board the aircraft. Traveling with oxygen does not have to be a hassle.
Please, do not wait until the last minute to notify the airline you will be traveling with oxygen. All the airlines require some advanced notice. All have their own specific requirements that must be met. Some even require a review of your prescription prior to travel. But with proper planning, traveling with oxygen need not be a daunting experience.
There are different rules for trains, planes and other modes of travel, so review with your specific carrier before bring your oxygen tank on-board. Most common carriers require advance notice, so do not appear at the counter to check- in unless you have contacted them earlier about your tank. Some airlines require only 48 hours advance notice while others require seven days. The best rule of thumb is make arrangements as far in advance as possible. All airlines charge for oxygen, but the charges vary. Some charge per canister, but most charge per for each leg of the flight. The 5 steps to successful travel
#1 Contact your doctor/GP to make sure it is safe for you to be traveling with your medical condition, and if the oxygen tank that you use is also safe for travel. You will not be able to bring your own oxygen on-board with you, so you will have to use oxygen provided by the airlines for the duration of the flight.
#2 Call the airline that you plan to travel in advance of your flight. Ask to speak with special services or the medical department of the carrier in order to make arrangements for to be able bring your tank on board.
#3 Make sure that you confirm that you meet the requirements of the carrier. Confirm with them that they can provide the flow of air you need and whether or not they will provide you with a nasal cannula or mask .
# 4 Confirm all of your arrangements by phone at least 48 hours before your flight boards and make sure to go over all of the rules and regulations that the airlines give you. Typically, the airlines will direct you to a website with rules for those traveling with medical oxygen or they will send you a pamphlet.
# 5 These same steps apply if you are traveling by train or cruise ship. Coordinate with your common carrier beforehand to avoid headaches. If cruising, make sure to contact the company PRIOR TO purchasing tickets, since many cruise lines will not allow oxygen tanks on board.
For all you medical oxygen needs please contact Oxygen Worldwide today and also register for your FREE back up service whilst abroad. Our team are open 24 hours, 7 days a week and also speak many languages.