If breathing becomes too labored for a pulmonary hypertension patient and the level of oxygen in their blood becomes too low, they may be advised to begin oxygen therapy.
Doctors can prescribe oxygen therapy for when the patient most needs it, usually during exercise or while sleeping. Those with very progressed pulmonary hypertension may require oxygen therapy 24 hours a day.
Oxygen is delivered to the patient through a face mask or nasal tubes (cannula) and is delivered from either a static oxygen condenser in the home or a portable concentrator which has a small tank that will last a few hours. The flow rate of oxygen used in the therapy will differ from patient to patient and will be determined by their physician.
According to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost of oxygen therapy. The patient will need to cover the other 20 percent or have it covered by another medical insurance policy.
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