Because of your sickness, you may need to use oxygen to help you breathe. You will need to know how to use and store your oxygen.
Your oxygen will be stored under pressure in tanks or produced by a machine called an oxygen concentrator.
You can get large tanks to keep in your home and small tanks to take with you when you go out.
Liquid oxygen is the best kind to use.
An oxygen concentrator:
Sometimes, you can use a portable concentrator, which is battery operated.
You will need other equipment to use your oxygen.
One item is called a nasal cannula. This plastic tubing wraps over your ears, like eyeglasses, with two prongs that fit into your nostrils.
You may need an oxygen mask. The mask fits over the nose and mouth. It is best for when you need higher amounts of oxygen.
Some people may need a transtracheal catheter. This is a small catheter or tube that is placed into your windpipe by surgery.
If you are using a transtracheal catheter, have your respiratory therapist or health care provider teach you how to clean your catheter and humidifier bottle.
Tell your local fire department, electric company, and telephone company that you use oxygen in your home.
Tell your neighbors, friends, and family that you use oxygen. They can help during an emergency.
Using oxygen may make your lips, mouth, or nose dry:
Place some gauze under the oxygen tubing behind your ear. This will help keep the skin from getting sore.
DO NOT STOP OR CHANGE your flow of oxygen. Talk with your doctor, nurse, or respiratory therapist if you think you are not getting the right amount. Take good care of your teeth and gums.
You need to make sure oxygen will be available for you during your trip. If you plan to fly with oxygen, tell the airline before your trip that you plan to bring oxygen. Many airlines have special rules about traveling with oxygen.
If you have any of the following symptoms, first check your oxygen equipment:
If your oxygen equipment is working well, call your health care provider if:
Call your child’s doctor if your child is on oxygen and is:
Oxygen - home use
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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