Cigarettes on their own are the leading cause of house fires, but add to this the risk of oxygen being stored in the home and the danger dramatically increases.
Over the last few years there have been a staggering number of reports of people on home oxygen therapy being admitted to hospital with facial burns, eyebrows and hair burned off, death, smoke inhalation injuries and fire damage to their homes in the thousands of pounds. These occurred because they or a friend/family member were smoking whilst the patient’s oxygen equipment was in use.
However, do not interpret this to mean that oxygen therapy is something to be afraid of, it just needs to be respected.
General Advice when using oxygen equipment:
• If you’re on oxygen, DO NOT smoke.
• If you live with or visit someone on oxygen, DO NOT smoke around them.
• Stay away from open flames, sparks, and gas (including gas stoves).
• Turn the oxygen off while not in use.
• Avoid petroleum-based products.
• Do not use aerosol sprays nearby.
• Comply with all safety instructions provided by your home medical equipment company.
• Keep your oxygen concentrator in a well-ventilated area.
• Never allow the tubing, cannula, or mask to be covered, as it can result in a build-up of concentrated oxygen.
• Keep the name and number of your home medical equipment provider in a prominent spot for reference.
• Post a sign stating ‘DANGER: No Smoking-Oxygen in Use’ for the benefit of engineers or visitors.
There are also health risks associated with smoking while on oxygen therapy. Smoking is the most common cause of many medical conditions associated with the requirement of oxygen therapy. Smoking got you here therefore it is highly recommended that you put as much effort as possible into trying to give up this harmful addiction, or to at least cut down. Smoking more will just continue to damage your lungs and increase the deterioration of your respiratory capability and make you increasingly more dependent upon supplemental oxygen. Using supplemental oxygen can improve your health and improve your medical condition but if you smoke you are hampering the possible medical benefits of the treatment.
There should be a respectful balance between your own lifestyle choices, your medical needs and the safety of yourself and others around you. Be aware of the dangers and make sure you take all possible safety precautions.
References: http://lambertshc.com and http://scienceblogs.com
The wonder of lightweight and portable devices is that you can get out of the house and keep active, however it is medical equipment containing a gas that aids combustion, so safety precautions should be taken for your own safety.
• It is recommended that you carry a copy of your documentation with you such as your Medical Oxygen Data Sheet.
• Inform your car insurance company that you intend to carry oxygen in your car.
• Keep the car well ventilated, open a window and set the ventilation to take in air from outside.
• Do not smoke or allow others in the car to smoke.
• Never transport the liquid oxygen mother unit container in the car.
• If possible carry your spare cylinders securely in the boot of the car. Use a cargo net to secure them properly.
• Remember to also secure the ambulatory cylinders or portable liquid flask in your car to prevent any harm coming to passengers or to the vehicle.
• Keep the amount of oxygen that you transport to a minimum and don’t transport large, high capacity cylinders in the car.
• Instead of placing the equipment loose on the back seat, strap it into the seat with a seat belt or place securely in the foot well in the back.
In summary remember that if loose the equipment could shift or move and damage the car, the passengers or the equipment itself so secure it well.
Also due to oxygen’s ability to aid combustion you need to keep the car well-ventilated in case of a leak to prevent a build-up of the gas within the car and to not smoke around it.
Carry documentation in case of an accident as if you are unconscious the emergency services could then be made aware of it’s presence and also of your medical need for oxygen which could save your life.
Travelling 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.
There are several makes and models, with widely differing features, so it is important to choose the one that is best for you, that delivers enough oxygen to keep your saturation 90 percent or greater at rest and with activity.
Some tips for air travel with POC’s:
· 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.
· POC’s and battery packs can be rented.
· 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.
· POC’s are exempt from the carry-on allowance.
· Carry a prescription for oxygen, signed by your doctor.
For more information about oxygen supply whilst on holiday please enquire now at www.oxygenworldwide.com and register for our SOS back up service.
A great article below posting about technology advances and Oxygen.
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.
Most travellers with existing medical conditions are able to fly without difficulty. However, occasionally certain precautions need to be taken.
A fitness to fly form is required to be completed when:
- Fitness to travel is in doubt as a result of recent illness, hospitalisation, injury or surgery
- If you have an existing unstable medical condition
- You wish to use medical equipment or therapeutic oxygen on-board
Most medical cases are straightforward, but some require individual assessment. In certain cases, we may ask that you and your doctor complete a “Fitness to Fly’ Form.
Carriage of a POC:
Passengers carrying a POC should obtain a Medical Equipment Approval & Baggage Waiver letter. 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, 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. This completed “Fit to Fly’ form must be returned 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.
Individual airline carriers have their own regulations please check before booking departure for full details.
For an example:
Please see below list of models approved for carriage on Ryanair flights:
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
While the warranty service on your portable oxygen concentrator is handled by the retailer you purchase it from, oxygen concentrators are covered by different warranties depending on who manufactured them. It is important to keep in mind the duration of your warranty so you are prepared with the correct information, should a problem with your device arise. Not all warranties cover everything especially the need when you are away in a different county and your machine is faulty or needs repairing.
Be sure to carefully consider the different portable oxygen concentrators available before purchasing. However, regardless of what model you choose, you are sure to enjoy the freedom of being able to travel in ways that, several years ago, were not possible for patients requiring oxygen therapy.
At OxygenWorldwide we have a very unique service that our customers rely on each time they chose to travel abroad for every trip. Registering is free and all the hard work is done by our team of consultants priory to your travels to make your trip stress and worry free.
Our Simple Oxygen Solutions means that we can arrange alternative oxygen can be supplied in case you encounter problems with your oxygen device and also check this is possible before you travel.
For further details and to register please contact our team on [email protected] or visit our website for further details www.oxygenworldwide.com
If you are a proud owner of a LifeChoice POC then you will already know how The LifeChoice is now helping patients all over the world: USA, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Asia.
The LifeChoice is the smallest POC (less than 2.2 kg) with 5+ hours of battery life, Auto Breath detection for Active and Sleep Mode, and the most powerful POC in its class at 750 ml output utilizing the state of the art Pulse Wave delivery system. The Pulse Wave delivery is a technology advancement over standard demand bolus pulse systems. You can feel the difference between the Pulse Wave and other demand systems. The LifeChoice is FDA listed (USA medical device), ISO 13485, FAA (airline use) and CE mark approved.
For mobile patients who are still active, walking, traveling, living their lives to the fullest and require 3 LPM or less, the truly portable LifeChoice is superior to the heavy carted/trolley transportable systems that the patient must drag behind them. These heavy carted/trolley systems are not truly portable since they require a cart/trolley with wheels. The LifeChoice also helps with certain patients where compressed or liquid oxygen gas is just not the right therapy especially if the patient is very mobile or travels. Also, with the LifeChoice, there is no fear of your cylinder running out of oxygen.
With the LifeChoice and its unique Pulse Wave delivery system (a blend of pulse/continuous delivery), patients Stay Active and Sleep Well.
With OxygenWorldwide you can enquire online or speak to one of our expert multilingual members of staff to help organise your back up service to keep you and your LifeChoice portable oxygen concentrator safe and in working order.
Our registration for S.O.S back up service is completely FREE and for your peace of mind. Our team can 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.
OxygenWorldwide can, if needed, also arrange oxygen at your destination before your arrival.
For further details on our back up service also known as simple oxygen solutions go to our website www.oxygenworldwide.com and simply complete the registration form.
We look forward to helping you travel with your portable oxygen concentrator with peace of mind.
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]