It can be scary to be prescribed oxygen support. If you’ve recently been put on oxygen support, this is not a death sentence and you can still live a quality life. Oxygen users can run and enjoy other activities. However, there are some new challenges you’ll have to face.
The Lung Health Institute strives to help patients with lung disease have a better quality of life. That’s why we put together this list of tips for new oxygen support patients. The tips on this list will help you know what to do and what not to do when living on oxygen support.
Ten Tips for living on oxygen support
- Study the equipment — Many types of equipment can be used to deliver oxygen. Yours will vary depending on your needs and lifestyle. Many patients are given more than one type. For example, if you require 24/7 oxygen support, you may have a separate set of equipment for home use and travel.
- Always turn off your oxygen when you’re not using it — This is especially important to remember if you don’t use oxygen 24/7 or if you switch equipment throughout the day. When you are not using your oxygen, you should always turn off the tank, even if it’s for a few minutes. The supply of oxygen in your tanks is limited and runs out fast when not used properly.
- Always monitor your oxygen levels — Keep on eye on the amount of oxygen left in your tanks. When it’s getting low, you need to contact your oxygen supplier for refills. Do not wait until you run out as these refills can take some time.
- Do not use flammable objects around oxygen equipment — Oxygen equipment is highly sensitive to flames and is combustible. You must avoid open flames when you are using oxygen equipment.
- Do not use electrical appliances near oxygen equipment — Equipment like hair dryers or curling irons that spark easily and create heat are a potential flame hazard. Do not use this equipment near your oxygen equipment.
- Use cotton materials — Sparks and flames are serious threats around flammable oxygen equipment. Cotton clothing and linens are less likely to spark, so switch out the polyester shirts and sheets for cotton ones.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy — Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen. If a fire starts near your oxygen tank, you need to be ready to put it out fast. Keep a fire extinguisher near your oxygen tank and make sure it’s up-to-date and that you know how to use it.
- Alert your local fire department — Let your local fire department know you have oxygen equipment in the house, so they can respond appropriately if there’s an emergency.
- Post “no-smoking” signs near your home — This is especially important if you live in crowded neighborhoods or apartments that allow smoking. Alert your neighbors to the fact that you have oxygen support in your home that is sensitive to open flames.
- Never change the rate of oxygen — Your physician will prescribe the right amount of oxygen your body needs. There is such a thing as too much, as well as too little, so do not adjust the rate. If you feel you’re not getting enough, talk with your physician.
Your physician will provide you with more detailed instructions when you receive your equipment. These tips are important ones to remember, though. Follow them and you can still live a high-quality life while on oxygen.
Have you recently been prescribed oxygen support? Would you like to treat your lung disease and cut back on the need for supplemental oxygen? Contact the Lung Health Institute today to learn about lung restoration treatment™ and how it helps reduce inflammation in your lungs to help you Breathe Easier™.