Preparing Your Residence To Meet Home Oxygen Criteria
Home oxygen criteria is probably new to you If you have been recently prescribed oxygen for home use.
Meeting home oxygen criteria is key to keep your home safe while undergoing going oxygen therapy.
This article will go over some general facts and oxygen safety tips and try to answer any questions you have about home oxygen criteria..
Home oxygen criteria for safety first starts with common sense. Remember to treat oxygen with the same respect that you would for a dangerous object. With proper respect for the dangerous of oxygen, you can mitigate accidents.
In order to fit the bill for home oxygen treatment, you must meet a few requirements. First, your condition must be stabilized and treated as well as possible before you leave any health care facility. This is the key first step to meeting home oxygen criteria, if you’re not adequately treated, medical professionals cannot, in good conscience, send you home if you still require oxygen.
Different insurance companies also have different home oxygen criteria you must meet in order to receive coverage. The cause of your need for oxygen, the amount and type of oxygen you use will all influence the types of coverage available to you.
So first of all – what is oxygen?
Oxygen is a natural part of the air we breathe; however it’s only about 21% of what we call air. The rest of the air we breathe is mostly nitrogen and 1% of various gasses.
Our lungs transport oxygen into our bloodstream where it spreads throughout our body to many different tissues. The cells within these tissues use oxygen as a part of the process for creating energy.
If you are new to home oxygen therapy the following people should be aware in-case of emergency.
Your Electric Company:
In case of a power outage, your oxygen concentrator will not work, so you will need back-up or portable oxygen supply.
Notify your electric company that there is an oxygen user in your home and they may prioritize re-connection of your power in case of power outage.
Your Local Fire Department:
As you know, oxygen rapidly accelerates a fire and flammables will burn more easily and more violently in the presence of oxygen.
You should make your local fire department aware that you use oxygen in your home, so they are prepared to respond appropriately to a fire emergency.
Your Building Manager:
If your home has a building manager (e.g. apartment, townhouse, condominium), you should let them know about your oxygen use. This helps them follow the correct emergency procedures in case of a fire drill or during communications with the electric company or fire department. This is one of the most critical people who should be notified as a part of home oxygen criteria.
Notifying these people is a key part of home oxygen criteria and will save you a ton of headaches in the event of a accident.
Can I smoke while using oxygen?
Save yourself the trouble. DO NOT smoke and certainly don’t let others smoke in your home.
Oxygen rapidly accelerates a fire, so smoking near your equipment or while using your oxygen greatly increases your risk of serious injury.
Also smoking is popular cause of most oxygen therapy related cases. Nobody should be smoking anyways if you are interesting in taking care of your body. Eliminating smoking from your environment is key to home oxygen safety.
Why do I need oxygen?
Lung damage is usually a common cause for needing oxygen. Chronic lung disease can cause areas in your lungs are damaged. These damaged areas act as blockages which prevent oxygen from moving freely into your bloodstream.
If this is the cause you will likely experience difficulties sleeping, breathing and performing daily tasks.
Because of this Doctors recommend oxygen therapy to increase the amount of oxygen available to your bloodstream with each breath. Common oxygen concentrators for home use include Respironic’s EverFlo model or the Life brand SoftPack concentrators.
This increased amount of oxygen concentration eases the work of getting enough oxygen throughout your body. Oxygen therapy helps you breathe and live more comfortably.
Will I be able to travel with oxygen?
Yes, portable oxygen devices can be used when driving in a car or traveling in an airplane.
First, you must contact your physician to ask if you are well enough to travel. You also need to contact the airline and see what their policy on oxygen is. Also you’ll need to calculate how much oxygen you need for the duration of your trip and make sure you have enough.
How do I choose a portable system?
A portable oxygen system provides you with a ton of flexibility.
Factors like how often you leave your home, the length of your trip and how you travel (e.g. car, airplane) will determine which portable oxygen system will be best for you.
- Make all travel plans well in advance
- Plan to travel at cooler times of the day or year, so less air conditioning is needed
- Plan rest stops, snack breaks, stretches and short walks
- When making travel reservations (e.g. bus, airline, tours), be sure to notify the staff of your oxygen use, so they can accommodate your needs
- Follow your home routine as much as possible (e.g. nap-times)
Can I still drive with oxygen?
As long as your physician approves it. Make sure your oxygen unit is secured inside your vehicle to prevent it from moving in the event of a collision or accident. It should not move at all while you are driving.
What is the best treatment for a dry mouth and nose?
Use a water-based nasal cream or gel to lubricate your lips and nose.
A room humidifier will also help by increasing the humidity level in your home. Vitamin E oil is also a natural lubricant that can be applied to your skin(external use only)
How do I treat a blocked or bleeding nose?
Again use a saline nasal spray, cream or gel to clear your nasal passages. Keeping your nose moisturized on a constant basis can help offset blocked or bleeding noses.
Increasing the humidity in the house with a room humidifier, or attaching a humidity bottle to your concentrator are also two tricks you can try.
Can I increase my oxygen flowrate if I am still short of breath?
For questions like these always consult your medical professional first. Never change your oxygen flowrate unless specifically prescribed by your physician. Difficulties can arise if you use either too much or too little oxygen.
Some things to try if you experience shortness of breath:
- Get comfortable. Stay calm and try to control your breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing will also help. Sit up straight and try to increase your airflow.
- Make an appointment with your physician.
- The faster you receive treatment after you notice the warning signs of a flare-up, the better your chances of recovering quickly and avoiding a hospital stay.