When most people hear the word oxygen, their thoughts don’t go to a doctor’s prescription. However, as an oxygen user, you understand that oxygen is not just a gas; it’s a necessary support system that helps you overcome the shortness of breath that comes with lung disease.
Using oxygen can provide the following benefits1:
- Improve your mood
- Help you sleep better
- Increase your mental alertness
- Help you be more physically active
- Allow you to carry out day-to-day activities, such as dressing and bathing
- Prevent heart failure if you have severe lung disease
- Compressed oxygen gas is stored in steel or aluminum tanks or cylinders and comes in different sizes for home and on-the-go use.
- Liquid oxygen can be stored in larger amounts without taking up as much space, but over time, the liquid oxygen evaporates.
- Stationary oxygen concentrators are about the size of a microwave and concentrate oxygen from the air in the room. Portable oxygen concentrators allow you to take your oxygen with you in a smaller, more convenient format.
While oxygen is a safe, non-flammable gas, it supports combustion. Here are some safety tips you should follow1:
- Avoid using oxygen in the presence of open flames, including matches, candles, cigarette lighters and lit cigarettes or cigars. If a guest in your home must smoke, insist that they step outside.
- Remain at least five feet away from other sources of heat, including gas or electric stoves and space heaters, when using oxygen.
- Avoid using petroleum-based lotions or creams. Flammable products containing petroleum can combust in the presence of oxygen. To eliminate any risk, choose water-based products.
- Store oxygen cylinders safely. Keep them upright and secure on an approved cart or storage device.
- Remember to shut of the oxygen supply valve when you’re not using your oxygen.
- Follow the instructions your oxygen supply company gives you regarding safe use. If you have any questions, contact them directly.