July 9, 2020 at 4:09 pm #26184
When my son started using supplemental oxygen he was on a fairly low rate but as his PH progressed his oxygen flow increased. He reached a point where he had to adjust the oxygen flow throughout the day, depending on what he was doing. When he became very sick and listed for transplant he often had the flow up high. His doctor knew he did this and never told him not to.
Do you change how much oxygen is flowing out of the tank or oxygen concentrator? If so, did your doctor approve it? Is there a flow he doesn’t want you to go under or over?
July 13, 2020 at 11:55 am #26224Jen CuevaModerator
Yes, I change the flow rate on my oxygen based on my orders. I use 2 liters at night and 3-4 liters with exertion and as needed. I do know that my doctors always say not to go over 5 liters. Others I know cannot go over 2 liters if they have COPD. Has anyone had this order?
July 13, 2020 at 2:06 pm #26231
@jenc there were many times while listed for transplant that I remember Cullen increasing the flow to 5 or higher. When he got really bad and frightened he would do that. He always wore a mask and not the cannula so I don’t think he was always getting the full concentration of it. He never had issues with high flow oxygen but if I could go back in time I would be a little more careful with it because too much oxygen can be dangerous.
I can recall that when he was in the hospital they sometimes put it up pretty high for him…again, I think it’s a difference between mask and cannula. Anyone else ever use a mask and notice a difference in what flow worked best compared to cannula?
July 21, 2020 at 6:43 pm #26334
I change my oxygen flow many times throughout the day. I “titrate to migrate” as Dr. Thomas Petty (The father of Long Term Oxygen Thrapy) used to say. I drop to the low 70’s within 2 minutes of walking on room air.
I use one liter per minute while awake at rest, 2 lpm when sleeping or when I’m moving my arms a lot while at rest. 3 liters to get up and walk a short distance (like under 20 feet) 4 liters if I’m walking farther, and 5 liters for heavy exertion or when i’m walking on the treadmill. I use a medical grade Nonin oximeter to determine what I need and when.
I have a remote float valve (the thing with the little ball you use to turn up the O2 flow on your home concentrator). I place it between the tube coming from my concentrator and my cannula. I turn the concentrator up all the way and then use the remote valve to turn the flow up or down. I tied a lanyard around it so I can wear it around my neck so I always have control of my O2 close at hand.
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Mendo Bruce.
July 21, 2020 at 6:54 pm #26337
@jenc I have COPD and I have been prescribed far more that 2 lpm. I am supposed to use whatever it takes to keep over 90 at rest and over 92 during exertion. In fact, they said we should discuss stepping me up from my 5 liter per minute home concentrator to a 10 lpm concentrator as there are times when I can’t maintain my saturation with the maximum 5 lpm when I am pushing myself on my treadmill.
- This reply was modified 3 months ago by Mendo Bruce.
July 23, 2020 at 7:15 pm #26372Alfred GronroosParticipant
Colleen, a great forum. I just met with my pulmonary doctor yesterday and asked him about getting a concentrator that goes higher than the 5 setting. No he said keep it as low as you can go to stay above 90. He claims lungs will get weak if they do not have to work hard. I use oxygen 24/7. I keep it at 4 unless I am using a small tank and sitting in a doctors and then I go to 5 pulse. Gotta make the tank last long enough I do not have to hobble back to vehicle. Sometimes it gets parked a long distance away. I get a good workout before and after doctors appointment. I use a nose cannula with 25 foot hose to get caught everywhere. I use a bi-pap with 4 liters at night. Everyone please be safe. Al in hot Arizona
July 24, 2020 at 2:38 pm #26385
@alfredjohn my son’s doctor gave the same excuse but opposite opinion when trying to get him to use his oxygen. She told him not using the supplemental oxygen was making his lungs work harder which was causing them more injury and fatigue. I think like everything else PH, every person is different and therefore are told different things.
I should elaborate that he was on a low setting for a while. He was at end stage PH when he was bumping up the air flow to high. His tanks he kept lower but the home concentrator, especially at night, was at a higher flow rate. As I mentioned, he was a kid and for him the mask was more tolerable for him. However, I think a lot of the air escaped so although the flow might have been up high, what he was actually receiving was probably lower.
Do you have a handicap placard so you can park closer to your medical facility? If not, you should be eligible for one. Ask your doctor.
Just how hot is Arizona right now? My parents live in NJ and they were 108 last week, which is crazy. I swear it never got that hot when I was growing up there.
July 24, 2020 at 11:17 pm #26387Alfred GronroosParticipant
Colleen, I am in Prescott Valley. elevation 5200 feet so highs have been a hundred. Too hot for us. South it hits 115 or so. In Colorado we had 85 with 50 nights. Sunny so the days seemed warmer even in winter.
I do have handicap plates on vehicle but there is so many of us elders with handicaps and not enough parking spots. If I get early enough I sit and wait like those other old men. Took a while for me to accept the fact I need and deserve the closer spots. Denial and disagreement.
The bi-pap c-pap masks are uncomfortable, bad fitting, leaking air but I felt it was a necessary evil. so I am proud of my 100 % usage. Sounds like most do not use them. The bi-pap was a big improvement in my sleeping. Even slept 10 hours last week.
Do other members get and wear medical alert bracelets, etc? I thought of it but the boss lady kind of shot it down. And I have not mentioned it with any of my doctors. stay safe Al Gronroos
August 17, 2020 at 8:45 pm #26779anneParticipant
I use a 5 in the house, but really only need a 3 while seated, but don’t think I know how to get one of those “I have a remote float valve (the thing with the little ball you use to turn up the O2 flow on your home concentrator)” that Mendo Bruce wrote about.
When I get up to walk from the family room to the bathroom or to the kitchen (takes about 1 to 2 minutes) I start huffing and puffing using 5 — my oxygen level starts going down to the low 80s and heart rate goes up above 110. If I stay longer on my feet — 5 minutes of walking, then it goes down into the mid 60’s and heart goes up to 120s. I tried sitting with no O2 for about an hour, felt fine, but O2 was down in high 70s.
I’d like to be able to use my 5 when I’m moving and standing, but turn the flow down to a 2 while seated. My concentrator is not plug into the wall near my TV chair or kitchen table. I would need to have what I’m envisioning what Mendo wrote. How do I find one?
August 17, 2020 at 10:04 pm #26780
Here is the link for the remote flow meter I use https://www.amazon.com/CNBTR-Acylic-Flowmeter-Acrylic-Fitting/dp/B019YS4PSG/
It is very inexpensive ($12) and hooks up between the long hose from your concentrator and your cannula, but there are some things you should be aware of.
1. It is too heavy to just hook it up and let it hang from the cannula. I tie a lanyard around mine and I wear it around my neck when I am moving about and hang it on something when I am sitting down or sleeping.
2. The dial that controls the flow is wider than the body of the meter, so if you lay it down and it moves, it can also move the dial and change your O2 flow. (this is why I hang it)
3 The input (bottom) and output (top) nozzles are very wide and it is very hard to get the hose ends on the nozzles. I find it best to heat the hose ends with a hair dryer and then slip then on. They go on much easier and stay on snug once they cool down. Hose from the concentrator goes on the bottom, cannula goes on the top.
4. Turn the dial towards more flow several revolutions after it stops going up, then turn the dial on the concentrator all the way up. Now you can turn the flow down on the remote to the flow you desire and you should see the ball on the concentrator go down to the same level as your remote.
I hope this helps
August 18, 2020 at 10:13 am #26786Jen CuevaModerator
Thanks, @mendo-bruce, for sharing this resource and tips about the remote flow meter. Hi @anne, if you have a DME company, where your oxygen comes from, they may be helpful with ideas on how you can better use this remote flow meter. I am not sure how heavy you are, but wondering if this would be too heavy to wear around your neck. What do you think?
It looks like most of these are under 3 ounces, so that may be OK. @mendo-bruce, how did you hear of this? Your doctors, DME company, or your own research? Your tips and instructions are well written, thanks for sharing.
August 18, 2020 at 11:50 am #26791
I just happened to stumble onto this. I think I had just typed “Oxygen” in the Amazon search bar and was looking at different products when I saw the flow valve and thought about how I might use it.
I have had a renown oxygen/respiratory tech tell me that this works exactly like the built in flow valve and that it won’t adversely affect the concentrator in any way. I can’t say whether or not your DMEs tech is knowledgable enough to understand this.
Oh I also made a mistake on the price, it is no longer $12 but is now $14.40
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Mendo Bruce.
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