COPD can have a devastating impact upon your personal life but if you are also aged 45-65 it can also have an even greater impact on your job. Work-loss for COPD patients is not just due to COPD alone but also due to the other associated medical problems that coexist with COPD. Not being able to work has an impact on the rest of your life, from financial worries to personal fulfillment.
Results from a cross-sectional survey of 2,426 people with COPD living and working in 6 countries around the world (Brazil, China, Germany, Turkey, United States and United Kingdom) revealed the following:
• 80% were unable to maintain their previous lifestyle.
• One in four felt they could not continue to care for their children or other members of their family as they once did.
• One in five felt they had become a burden to family members and friends.
• 41% felt they could no longer plan for their future.
• 37% reported their income had dropped since being diagnosed.
However some people still manage to continue working until retirement. It depends on your job role; will it make your condition worse by continuing to work in that role or is there an option to change roles or career so that you can still work? If this is not possible then you can claim long-term disability which will give you some income.
If however you feel that you can continue employment then there are things that you and your employer can do to make your work life less of a burden on your disease. The employer will welcome that a few changes will help to ensure that you don’t take as many days off from work for being ill.
Here are just a few accommodations that employers can make that are not overly imposing:
• Providing an accessible parking space that is close to the door.
• Moving your workstation closer to the entrance of the building.
• Allowing you to work from home at least a couple of days a week, if not every day.
• Providing a smoke-free, dust-free, fume-free environment. This can even mean asking other employees not to wear heavy colognes or perfumes.
• Providing adequate ventilation.
• Allowing you a flexible schedule so that you don’t miss your doctor appointments or perhaps letting you come in later on certain days.
• Giving you advanced notification of any construction work or cleaning that will be going on in your particular work area.
• Allowing you to use a scooter or motorized cart to increase your mobility while in the workplace or to move from one office building to the next during work hours.
If your employer makes changes to help you then you must try to ensure that you are as productive as possible in return:
• Doing everything you can to prevent COPD exacerbation. An exacerbation can cause you to miss more days of work, or worse yet, land you in the hospital. Frequent hand-washing, staying away from crowds and sick people and getting your vaccinations will all help.
• Wearing your oxygen at work. Oxygen therapy helps prevent breathlessness, improves your mental alertness and increases your stamina so you can get through your work day. If you feel conspicuous with your nasal canula then there are oxygen glasses you can try or tracheal oxygen may be an option as you can hide the tubes with a scarf or a high-neckline top.
People with COPD are more likely to accept early retirement than those who do not have COPD and this can negatively impact your pension benefits and have a dramatic affect on your financial well-being, as well as that of your family.
Before deciding on retirement you should ensure you have explored with your doctor and your employer all possible avenues of adapting your workplace environment and tried different medications before giving up on work completely. You can also talk to a financial adviser to see what else you could do to ensure that you and your family are well taken care of.
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.
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
1. Portable oxygen concentrators…
2. Oxygenworldwide has a huge network on a worldwide scale
3. OxygenWorldwide has a team of experts on hand prior to travel and during your holiday (SOS)
4. There are a wide selection of equipment types suitable for most oxygen patients
5. OxygenWorldwide have a multilingual team of staff
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.
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.
Hoods provide the perfect wear for babies Babies with heart or lung problems may need to breathe increased amounts of oxygen to get normal levels of oxygen in their blood.
There are several different ways to deliver oxygen to a baby. Which method is used depends on how much oxygen is needed and whether the baby needs a breathing machine. An oxygen hood is used for babies who can breathe on their own but still need extra oxygen.
A hood is a plastic dome or box with warm, moist oxygen inside. The hood is placed over the baby’s head. Too much or too little oxygen can be harmful. If the cells in the body get too little oxygen, energy production decreases. With too little energy, cells may not work well and may die. Too much oxygen can also cause injury.
Breathing too much oxygen can damage the lung. Under certain conditions, too much oxygen in the blood may also lead to problems in the brain and eye. Babies with certain heart conditions may also need lower levels of oxygen in the blood.
Your baby’s doctors and nurses will try to balance how much oxygen your baby needs. These hoods provide babies and young infants with the perfect medical solution to get the right amount of oxygen in these early stages of life and how important oxygen is in the development at the right levels saving life.
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]
Counting down the days until summer? OxygenWorldwide could be the gateway to your holiday plans… and a breath of fresh air
Whether you’re jetting off to a sun-drenched beach, considering a Eurostar getaway with friends, or a long-haul dream destination, OxygenWorldwide are here to help organise your medical oxygen plans.
By using the right suppliers and preparing your needs your holiday could be happening sooner than you think, our team is here to help.
Historically, oxygen-dependent passengers were met with many obstacles when they tried traveling with oxygen by airplane.
To date, there are 21 oxygen concentrators approved by the FAA to carry on board your flight. They include:
AirSep FreeStyle 5
Inogen One G3
Inova Labs LifeChoice
Inova Labs LifeChoice Activox
International Biophysics LifeChoice
Oxlife Independence Oxygen Concentrator
Precision Medical EasyPulse
Respironics Simply Go
Please check with your airline before your travel.
In light of the new ruling, passengers must still meet certain pre-boarding conditions, including advance check-ins, having a fully charged battery for 150% of the flight time, a doctor’s statement of medical necessity and properly packaged extra batteries.
For more information on oxygen travel, portable oxygen back up and travelling with medical oxygen, please speak with our team or make an enquiry at www.oxygenworldwide.com
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.
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