Pulmonary Hypertension News Forums Forums COVID-19 and PH Stocking up on oxygen?

  • Stocking up on oxygen?

    Posted by Stephanie Mitchell on March 22, 2020 at 9:11 pm

    For those of us on oxygen, how’s your supply of oxygen tanks? Whether you use tanks as your primary oxygen supply or as a backup, it might be wise to look into having more on hand during the COVID-19 crisis just in case it becomes difficult for your medical supply company to exchange your used tanks for new ones.

    Myself, I use a concentrator as my primary supply of oxygen and I utilize tanks for my backup. I’m going to contact my oxygen supplier tomorrow and see about getting some additional M24 and M60 tanks.

    Stephanie Mitchell replied 4 years, 2 months ago 3 Members · 20 Replies
  • 20 Replies
  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 10:19 am

    Hi @stephanie really good topic to bring up, especially during this time! I think that it is important to remember to get in contact with the electrical company and gas company near you. If your doctor writes a note of necessity, if something were to ever happen to your power, the electric company would have to turn it back on ASAP especially if you are relying on it for charging tanks. I know that most people right now are probably looking to conserve the oxygen. If you are able to get a home fill system from your company and if your doctor can specifically request that, that would be a really good option so you don’t need to worry about running out.

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks Brittany. That’s some great ideas. I’ll look into contacting my electric company and also contact my oxygen supplier about a home fill concentrator. Our home has a standby generator system that can power most of the home’s electrical needs.

    Do you have a home fill oxygen system? If so, what size tanks do it use and how long does it take to refill them? Does the concentrator provide enough oxygen to fill the tank and provide you with enough oxygen to breathe even if on a high flow setting?

  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    @stephanie Hey Stephanie. The oxygen tanks are the size in between the small and the larger tanks that have to be pulled. You would have to ask for the ones that can be refilled. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to recharge them. When I was using them all the time I had 4 given to me and there was always one that was charging and I would just rotate them out. They lasted about 3 hours on 3 liters. So I never really ran out, but when I traveled out of the house I would have to just hook up to the concentrator when they were charging to let them re-charge.

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks Brittany. What do you currently use?

  • jen-cueva

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Wow, great tip, @stephanie. This is such an important reminder. I, too, have a home fill system concentrator. I have four extra tanks, but home fills are so much better for me. Before this, for years, the oxygen guys were coming weekly and more often. The home fill system has been a huge help for me. The home fill machine that I have only works with a specific sized tank. I believe this is pretty standard unless something new came out this year.

    Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, I am prepared with those larger back-up tanks, too. They are difficult to lug around. With hurricane preparedness, this is something that they keep me stocked up with. I also have a portable concentrator that I use. This has 2 batteries, and I am keeping them both charged as I see they are low.

  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Hi @stephanie for the most part I use the Inogen which is a portable oxygen system. Unfortunately, it does not make my oxygen levels go up to a good enough level so I was back to using the tanks with activity. Each tank at 3 liters lasts me around 3 hours so it’s not that bad. Right now, I am not as active and not going from appointment to appointment or doing much out of the house besides walking my dog, so it is easier to conserve it. I don’t need it with 24 hours anymore, just with activity.

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Jen, I called my oxygen supplier today and they are going to bring out a couple of M250 tanks that hold 7080 liters each. At my current flow rate, that’s about 2 1/2 days of oxygen per tank. I’m also having them bring extra E cylinders and I’m going to have them get me a self filling concentrator.

  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    @jenc and @stephanie I definitely find that the portable tanks and concentrator with the charged batteries is easier when I am sitting down or not doing too much activity. But the oxygen tanks that can be charged at home has helped me with movement and activity and helps me get the oxygen that I need at a higher rate or continuous rate!

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 23, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Brittany, I’m glad to hear that you don’t need it 24/7 anymore. Unfortunately, I think I’m going in the opposite direction. My sats have been trending lower with my current flow of 2 lpm. I’m scheduled for another walk test soon and I think my doctor will end up increasing my oxygen to 3 or 4 lpm.

  • jen-cueva

    Member
    March 24, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    Great @stephanie, I hope that they have set up so that you have plenty of oxygen. I think as you inform your medical team of your dropping sats, Stephanie, that may encourage you to increase the flow rate to see if that helps. I am guessing that your walk test may be delayed. That is why I am saying maybe they will allow you to increase after you call and let them know.

  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 24, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    @stephanie if you have a monitor at home you can always give yourself a “walk test” from home. Sometimes I do this and record what is happening and send the video to my doctor. Especially when everything is virtual right now, this might be a good idea. Record what is happening to your sats. They will want to look at the oxygen level and the heart rate to see what is happening and you can even experiment with the oxygen liter flow and see what you need to put it up to in order to increase it. My doctors usually give me a range of what to go up to and then let me know “if it gets to “x” number even at the liter flow you can go up to then you need an appointment or ER” depending on what the sats are and how I feel. Sometimes I feel okay and my oxygen is low and sometimes I am really short of breath with it low. It depends.

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 24, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    Hi Jen. I called my pulmonologist and told her what my sats are at rest and when active at my current flow of 2 LPM. She said to increase the flow till my sats went back up to a satisfactory level and my symptoms alleviate. I’m now on 4 LPM continuous and I’m worried that my POC won’t be able to handle the demand of that much oxygen.

  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 25, 2020 at 8:28 am

    @stephanie I am glad that you ended up talking with a doctor about this and that they were supportive in having you adjust your level as needed and go up to that 4lpm. I know that for me, the pulse flow of the POC doesn’t work as well. It takes more of the POC to increase my sats but with the continuous flow it only takes about 3 liters. Hoping the can figure things out for you and if you have to go to the continuous flow in the meantime, that may be the best choice for you! But definitely discuss with doctor before switching to this.

  • jen-cueva

    Member
    March 25, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Hey @stephanie, I a so happy to hear that you called your Pulmonologist and that they were able to increase your flow rate. I hope that this helps with your symptoms and decreasing sats.

    Like, Brittany, I, too, find that my home concentrator is much better with flow rates. MY POC is OK up until I go above 3 liters for me. If I am sitting or traveling, this is OK. But if I want to dance around or do much exertion, the POC is less beneficial for me. I do tend to use mine for doctor’s appointments and likewise unless I plan to walk or exert myself more. I hope this makes sense.

    I hope that you will let us know how well the increase in flow rate helps you.

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 25, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Jen, I think I’m going to need to make tanks my go to method of oxygen delivery when I’m out of the house. My POC is on it’s max setting and just barely provides enough oxygen with me at rest. I can definitely feel it when I get up and walk or otherwise exert myself. I’m going to need tanks so that I can get a continuous flow of oxygen.

  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 8:46 am

    @jenc and @stephanie this is how I work mine too. When it is not a ton of exertion then I like the wear my POC just because it is easier to travel with and can just plug into the car if I am going on any long trips where I might need it or might need to recharge or something. But if I were planning on doing actual exercise and movement that would cause me to break a sweat, like when I go to the gym for example, I use my oxygen tanks because it provides me with more and what I need to get through a better workout.

  • Brittany Foster

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 9:10 am

    @stephanie my best advice with the tanks is to have your doctor specify that you need a home filler system because you are mobile and active. I found issues with this if it wasn’t specified by the doctor in the order for a home filler system with the tanks ! It will save you hassle and time spent waiting around for them to deliver them. If you go through them quickly and if you are active during the day then this would be the best option for you to keep your mobility and not feel like you need to be at home all day. Hope this helps more!

  • jen-cueva

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    @stephanie, yes, do what feels and works best for you. As Brittany suggests, I would call and ask for a home-fill system. The oxygen companies usually prefer this, so they do not continuously come to switch your tanks. They changed me years ago when they grew tired of coming weekly.

    @brittany-foster, I get that. Car drives are a great time to use POC. I also used mine for flying. Sometimes, I use mine for short trips to the store or errands.

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Brittany, how long does a home fill tank last on 4 lpm?

  • Stephanie Mitchell

    Member
    March 26, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Jen, what POC do you use and what setting?

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