If you've been hospitalized for surgery or an illness, you may have received oxygen. If you have a chronic respiratory illness, you might need to wear oxygen at home too. You'll need a doctor's prescription since the gas can be dangerous if not used properly. Here are some things to know about using this medical gas at home.
The Prescription Tells You How Much To Use
Your doctor will tell you how to use the oxygen, including how you take it and how much to use. The amount is usually regulated in liters per minute, but in the case of some masks, the doctor might prescribe a percentage of oxygen too. A common and convenient way to use the medical gas is through a cannula you wear in your nose, but there are other options to consider if you have difficulty with wearing the prongs in your nose, or if you need a high flow rate.
Also, it's important to follow your doctor's instructions and not turn up the flow rate just because you think you need it. Instead, call your doctor and let them know you're feeling short of breath when on your prescribed setting and get advice on what you should do. Turning up the flow rate could have undesired side effects if you have certain conditions, such as COPD.
A Medical Supply Company Handles The Delivery
You don't have to worry about getting supplies and equipment since this is done by a medical supply company for your safety and convenience. The equipment is brought to your home, and you're instructed on how to use it.
If you have a concentrator that plugs in the wall, you may be given a few small tanks you can use in case of a power outage. It's also good to let your power company know you use home oxygen so you can have priority in case of an emergency.
If you live in an area that has frequent evacuations, such as where hurricanes are a threat, then plan ahead. Contact local authorities about getting signed up for a medical needs shelter and learn what to do if you need to evacuate with your oxygen.
You'll soon get used to wearing oxygen at home, and your doctor may even prescribe a small portable device that lets you stay mobile with your oxygen. By having equipment at home, you might stay out of the hospital and have a better quality of life. Just remember to follow safety precautions, such as not allowing anyone to smoke near your equipment.
Contact an oxygen supplier near you to learn more.