Bonfires and fireworks could potentially cause fatal asthma attacks warns Asthma UK
Bonfires and fireworks could cause potentially fatal asthma attacks, a leading asthma charity has warned, issuing advice ahead of Bonfire Night on November 5.
The smoke fumes from burning wood and firework displays can linger in the air creating localised pollution, which could cause asthma attacks for the 5.4million people in the UK with the condition, says Asthma UK.
Asthma UK, who provide a nurse-staffed helpline for people with asthma, advice on its website and funds over 30 research projects, says three people die from asthma attacks every day.
Having an asthma attack can be incredibly frightening, and one occurs every 10 seconds in the UK. An attack happens when the airways start to tighten, which can leave people coughing, wheezing and gasping for breath. Some people with asthma describe having an asthma attack as feeling like someone is holding a pillow over their face.
Asthma UK has issued top tips for people with asthma on Bonfire Night:
- Take your preventer medicines as prescribed
- Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times
- If you find that smoke is making you cough, stand well back and admire the fireworks from a distance
- Make sure your friends and family know what to do and when to get help if your asthma symptoms suddenly get worse
- If it’s cold, wrap a scarf over your nose and mouth; this will help to warm up the air before you breathe it in.
There is a myth that if you are on oxygen therapy then your life is effectively over and that it is too restrictive and complicated to go away on holiday. This is not necessarily the case and for most sufferers the world is your oyster. Always check with your doctor first to ensure you are fit enough to travel and ask your doctor to write a letter stating this just in case you need it.
All you need to do is prepare and plan the holiday well and ensure that you consider some factors when planning your trip:
• Climate: many people with lung conditions prefer warm climates that have salty air. Lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes can make breathing difficulties worse.
• Terrain: whether your destination is flat or on a hill could affect your ability to get around comfortably.
• Wheelchair access.
• Transport availability.
• Special needs such as oxygen treatment.
• 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.
You should ensure that you and your carer have full travel insurance before going away to avoid huge medical bills if you are taken ill during your trip. Look into this first as it may be expensive and you may need a specialist provider depending on your health. Check that it covers all aspects of your medical condition and that you declare everything accurately to them otherwise it may not be valid, leaving you with a huge bill.
Keep your documents safe with you while you travel in case you need them suddenly in an emergency.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to reduced cost – sometimes free – medical treatment if you fall ill when travelling in Europe.
Accommodation in the UK is divided 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.
Each category has its own logo, which is displayed by accommodation providers that have been assessed. Make sure you choose accommodation that best fits of requirements.
Other countries have different systems so just make sure you ask your travel agent about how to choose your accommodation abroad.
Several coach companies are working towards making their vehicles accessible for people with disabilities. Many coaches now feature kneeling suspension, which makes boarding and alighting easier. Most on-board toilet facilities are now level with the coach seating.
Some companies allow you to bring on board your own oxygen supply and will carry some types of collapsible battery-powered wheelchairs.
Different train companies have different policies regarding people with disabilities, so plan your route in advance and find out which companies’ trains you need.
Many ferry companies have lifts, toilets and wheelchair facilities; some can supply wheelchairs at terminals. A few have special cabins for disabled people and/or offer discounts. Check before you book, especially if you need oxygen.
Camping and caravanning
The Camping and Caravanning Club has three stages of accessibility for camping and caravan sites. So you just need to check that the site is appropriate for your needs.
• No accessible facilities;
• Accessible to people who can move around a little, but not wheelchair accessible; and
• Fully accessible including shower blocks and facilities.
Holidaying With Oxygen
Oxygen for travel in the UK is provided by the NHS. You just need to let your usual oxygen provider know the details of your holiday, including the dates you are going and returning and where you will be staying, and they will arrange everything for you.
You should first get permission to store oxygen cylinders and equipment from the owner of the place where you are staying.
Oxygen suppliers in the UK will only provide oxygen for travel and stays within the UK. If you are travelling abroad then there are many overseas oxygen providers that can fulfil your oxygen requirements and if you are travelling by plane then you need to ensure your airline’s oxygen policy and whether you need to complete any additional documentation for them.
Flying with a lung condition
Many people believe their lung condition will prevent them from flying, especially if they need oxygen but this is not necessarily true. First, ask your doctor whether you can travel by plane and whether you will need any additional oxygen on the plane.
Then contact individual airlines to discuss your requirements and to find out what their policy is for carrying and using oxygen on planes.
If you are planning a long-haul flight and use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to treat the sleep disorder obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), you should consider whether you might need to use your machine during the flight.
Some airlines have restrictions on what machines are permitted for use on board and others may require you to fill in a form before you travel.
When you contact the airline, find out what assistance is available at the airport as well as on the plane and check:
• the airline’s policy on carrying and using oxygen and medical devices such as CPAP machines;
• the exact length of the flight, and whether delays are likely;
• the facilities available at the outgoing and incoming airports. These might include assistance to get you from the airport lounge to the departure gate and on to the plane, the use of wheelchairs, and whether oxygen is available at the airport; and
• how you should confirm your fitness to fly.
If you are on medication then you will need a letter from your doctor confirming that you need the medication, and you should also keep a list of all the medication and doses you take in case you need to get more during your stay. List the proper names, keep all medication in its original packaging and keep it with you in your hand luggage. A doctor’s letter is required for liquid medicines exceeding 100 millilitres that are taken into the aircraft cabin. When given medication abroad, check whether it can be brought back into the UK. If you are in any doubt, declare the medication at customs.
Preparation is the key. Plan your trip in advance, think through everything you need, ask as many questions as you can of as many people as possible, then decide what’s best for you.
References: http://www.blf.org.uk and http://www.cancerresearchuk.org
An interesting and unique paper has been researched and published, ‘Explaining Adherence to Supplemental Oxygen Therapy:The Patient’s Perspective’ by Mark A Earnest. It looks at a group of COPD sufferers and investigates their use of oxygen therapy and the factors behind their varying adherence to their treatment regime.
For many people the level of adherence changes with time and reflects their struggle to manage their health, symptoms, physical ability and social issues. However adherence to oxygen therapy tended to increase with time as the realisation becomes apparent that a little compromise to lifestyle is required in order to reap the full benefits of oxygen therapy.
The barriers include the physical difficulty of using the oxygen, self-consciousness and a sense of social stigma, lack of perceived benefit, and fear of side effects from treatment.
The benefits far outweigh these barriers as supplemental oxygen therapy reduces mortality, improves sleep quality and general comfort, increases exercise tolerance, reduces pulmonary hypertension, normalizes heart rhythm patterns and improves cognitive brain function such as memory, intelligence, motor skills and perceptual motor ability.
The pattern of oxygen use adopted by any individual reflects their personal experiences and values and their efforts to optimally manage their lives. Four main areas affect adherence: functional management, health management, social management, and symptom management.
This is juggling the difficulty caused by weight and bulk, the perception that it hinders performing certain tasks with the benefit of improved fitness, strength, stamina and increased ability to perform these tasks.
Individuals voiced concerns that they feared nasal dryness, nosebleeds and light-headedness. That they thought they may become addicted to it or that their lungs would become weakened.
These fears diminished as a result of personal experience. A realisation that the health benefits outweighed these fears and experience via an increase in use during episodes or on advice from a doctor.
Social concerns relating to oxygen use, including embarrassment, self-consciousness, fear of burdening or inconveniencing others, concerns about appearing weak or sick, and a sense of shame, both about prior smoking and accepting dependence on a substance such as oxygen.
These elements tended to evolve over time. Some were able to overcome their fears or sense of self-consciousness by simply returning to a normal routine with family and friends. The desire to preserve independence and retain a high physical function and socialising helped them to overcome anysense of isolation and embarrassment. One woman described how,she felt once she followed her oxygen therapy fully:
‘It opened a whole new vista for me. All of a sudden I was getting more active. I was doing the grocery shopping, and the laundry, and driving, and just becoming self-sufficient, which was what I used to do. I started volunteering then (in the rehab program) as a way of thanking them, you know, for saving my life.’ (Female, age 69)
The realisation that in most cases oxygen therapy helped to alleviate symptoms which resulted in a greater adherence to the treatment.
Every participant in the study described some sense of compromise in the decisions they made regarding their use of oxygen. For most, the compromises were viewed as minimal or had been minimized by time and experience. In the four areas most patients realise that any uncertainties, fears or slight inconveniences in their lives were all far-outweighed by the benefits from oxygen therapy and adapted their lifestyles over time and through experiences and research, which generally resulted in an increased adherence to the treatment.
References: http://erj.ersjournals.com and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
A top doctor says the roll out of oxygen alert medical bracelets to patients with known Type 2 respiratory failure will help save lives.
Dr Rose Sharkey, Respiratory Consultant, at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, said the easily recognisable purple oxygen alert bracelets will ensure rapid identification of a patient and ensure that ambulance staff transferring a patient to hospital, and doctors are immediately made aware of a patients oxygen therapy needs.
She said: “We have been working closely with our colleagues in the Ambulance Service to ensure Paramedics firstly check if a patient is wearing one of our purple bracelets.
“If so, then can then check the patient’s oxygen alert card which will tell them the correct amount of oxygen therapy to give a patient during an exacerbation of COPD, as they are transferred to hospital. The delivery of excess oxygen to this group of patients can be detrimental.
“The medical bracelets and oxygen alert cards will be distributed to patients attending respiratory clinics and through our Community Respiratory Services.”
Dr Nigel Ruddell, Assistant Medical Director, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said: “Good emergency care benefits greatly from teamwork, and anything which allows us to work collaboratively with our hospital colleagues to ensure a patient receives optimal care is to be welcomed. We have already seen the benefits of this alert system working elsewhere and are keen to roll it out on a regional basis to make sure that patients across Northern Ireland with complicated conditions can receive tailored treatment from the ambulance service that will mesh seamlessly with their ongoing care.”
The Inogen One G2 is a portable oxygen concentrator that provides up to 5 litres per minute on-demand oxygen. This is possible because of its up to 8 hours of battery life (with double battery installed & on setting 1).
It restores your freedom. You are able to use it in a car and on most airlines. So take it away for a weekend trip or long journey you’d never thought you would be able to make. You only go home when you want, not because you’re running out of oxygen.
It’s sound level is as a normal conversation (based on setting 2) and is lower than 37 dbA. It sits discreetly at your feet, next to your bed or behind a chair. It is also light enough (3.2 Kg.) to carry over your shoulder. Day or night, all your oxygen needs can be met with this Portable Oxygen Concentrator. Furthermore is it very easy to operate with just a couple of buttons.
This is definitely a device which will make your life easier.
|Price shown for Inogen One G2-Single Battery
Inogen One G2-Double Battery- € 4,100
12 Cell Battery – € 550
24 Cell Battery – € 880
|Ltr. per minute
||< 6 Ltr. p/m – PULSE
8 hrs. battery life with battery on setting 1
approx. 3-6 hrs., depending on battery size
There are so many articles saying do not smoke when using medical oxygen and the below article shows exactly why experts advise you not to smoke:
Woman left fighting for life after sparking huge explosion by lighting a cigarette while wearing an oxygen mask
- The 47-year-old was lighting up at home at 7.30am in the morning
- The flame set light to oxygen coming from her medical mask
- She is in intensive care with facial burns after being taken to hospital
A woman is fighting for her life after she lit a cigarette while wearing an oxygen mask, sparking an explosion.
The incident happened as the unnamed 47-year-old attempted to light up at her home in Heywood, Manchester just after 7.30am on Friday morning.
As she brought the light to her cigarette it set fire to the oxygen emitting from the nearby medical equipment, causing the gas to explode in her face.
The blast left her with severe burns and started a fire in a first-floor bedroom of the terraced house in Cartridge Street, Greater Manchester.
Emergency services were called to the scene but the fire was out by the time they arrived.
The woman received treatment in the house and was taken to Fairfield Hospital in Bury. Doctors then opted to put the woman into an induced coma.
She remained in intensive care for treatment last night. Shocked neighbours woke to find several fire engines and police cars in their street following the accident.
Frances Tennant, 85, who lives opposite her, said: ‘I do see her and her husband. They seem friendly. It’s a bit of a shock that this has happened and I hope she’s OK.
‘I could see police cars on the corner and plenty of activity with the fire service and I wondered what was going on.’
Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘They seem like a nice family. My boyfriend knows them better than me but we often say hello.
‘The fire engines woke me up this morning just before eight o’clock and I wondered what had happened.’
The family of the woman, who has not been named, declined to comment.
Find out about OxygenWorldwide : www.oxygenworldwide.com
article By AARON SHARP
PUBLISHED: 14:35, 7 December 2013
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2519834/Woman-left-fighting-life-sparking-huge-explosion-lighting-cigarette-wearing-oxygen-mask.html#ixzz2r5AmoP3e
Don’t feel lonely inhale in company
It has been made hip by countless celebrities but will we Brits really be rushing to the nearest store to pay for the latest fad to hit the streets – a machine that dispenses oxygen.
It isn’t as silly as it sounds. Did we ever think we’d end up paying for bottled water? Who could have imagined that millions of us would ever pay for water rather than drinking it free from the tap!
We need oxygen to breath and it’s free in the atmosphere so why pay £2 for a 10 minute shot?
Well oxygen therapy has been researched extensively and the benefits are scientifically proven.
A recent study reported that feeding the brain with extra oxygen can improve mental performance.
Brain power can be increased by up to 20 per cent when people take extra supplies of oxygen, according to researchers at the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit of the University of Northumbria.
Volunteers remembered up to 20 per cent more words from a list after they were given a short blast of oxygen through a facemask.
A dose of oxygen also improved performance when playing the computer game Tetris when the game was at its hardest level.
Experts believe that the more oxygen in the body and brain the better your system will function.
Some of the benefits are it: boosts energy, enables recovery more quickly after exertion, gets rid of headaches and hangovers, relieves stress, increases concentration and enables you to feel more relaxed and revitalised.
Oxygen bars have been around for years in Asia and America. Cheers and Natural Born Killers star Woody Harrelson who’s also a hemp impresario and Hollywood’s man with a social conscience, opened an oxygen bar in LA where hip customers sniff medical grade oxygen to relieve stress and get rid of their hangovers.
Oxygen aids recovery
Athletes take oxygen before competing, and so do rock stars such as Mick Jagger. Michael Jackson also purportedly favours napping in his personal oxygen chamber.
Now Britain’s airheads can inhale extra oxygen from machines installed at night-clubs, bars, gyms and high street stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols which launches an oxygen bar later this month. Oxygen machines will also be available to rent for the office or home.
The specially designed machines supplied by O2Live are simple to use. You put a pre-purchased card into apparatus and oxygen is pumped out via a jetmask, which covers the nose and mouth.
Alternatively you can chat with friends if you opt to use a live wire which is a plastic tubing which pumps oxygen just up the nose.
A minimum of five minutes is needed to start to feel benefits. Three 20 minute sessions per day is the maximum recommended.
Dominic Simler, is Managing Director of O2Live, which patented the oxygen machine, now available at 260 sites across the UK.
He believes that tens of thousands of people are already enjoying the benefits of an extra oxygen boost.
He said: ‘Of course with anything that is new or a bit odd or crazy people are going to pass it off as a fad which only celebrities can afford.
‘But the same could be said about buying bottled water. If you had asked the same question of people 20 to 30 years ago about would they pay 70p for a bottle of water when it is free out of the tap? They would have said no but now bottled water is brought by millions of people.
‘It’s essentially a lifestyle choice just as it is with drinking bottled water which you perceive to be purer and healthier.
‘There is a hell of a lot of animosity from people to start with but they are eager to try it and once they do they invariably like it and feel the benefits.’
How extra oxygen works?
Oxygen is at saturation level in the red blood cells even when breathing normal air. Extra oxygen is absorbed into the blood by increasing it partial pressure, driving more oxygen into the tissues.
The O2LIVE oxygen system plugs into a normal wall socket and uses minimal electricity.
It works by drawing in air which contains 21 per cent oxygen, 78 per cent nitrogen and one per cent other gases, filtering out the impurities through molecular sieve beds and pumping out up to 95 per cent pure filtered oxygen.
The user breathes an entirely safe mixture of 95 per cent pure oxygen and the surrounding air, which contains 21 per cent oxygen. This means they get between 50 to 100 per cent more oxygen than they would get from the normal sea level air.
O2Live: simply plug in
A fragrance can be added to enhance the pleasure of breathing a scented, oxygen enriched air mixture.
The aromatherapy scent cartridges include: energy, eucalyptus, passion, relax, lemon and orange.
The system uses an oxygen generator to produce the oxygen because of the advantages it has over cylinders, which have been used in oxygen bars.
Cylinders have to be regularly refilled, have an additional fire risk and have limited oxygen capacity within the cylinder. The length of time you stay on the O2Live depends on you and the benefits you are looking for.
My own verdict on this new phenomenen having had a 10-minute shot of oxygen from the O2Live was that it was refreshing and did make me feel relaxed. I enjoyed the eucalyptus scented cartridge but I couldn’t say I felt any long lasting benefits from my 02 blast but I would definitely try it again.
For more information about O2Live contact 020 7431 8585.