Author Archives: Scott Ridl

Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

  • Symptoms and Treatment for Asbestosis

    The first requirement for the diagnosis of asbestosis is determining the amount of exposure to asbestos. Generally asbestosis results from more than just a one-time exposure. Symptoms are caused by the damage that the tiny asbestos fibers do to the lung tissue.

    Some of the most common symptoms include shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, a crackling sound when breathing in, a persistent and productive cough, reduced appetite and chest pain.

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  • What is Asbestosis?

    Asbestosis is a condition of the lungs specifically related to the breathing of asbestos. Asbestos fibers are very tiny fibers that, when inhaled, cause scarring of the lung tissue. The lung tissue and the lining of the chest wall become thick and hard from the scarring.

    It is this scarring of the lung tissue that makes it difficult for the lungs to carry oxygen into the rest of the body. At first there may be no symptoms as the person is not aware of the microscopic damage to the inside of their lungs.

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  • Symptoms and Treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

    Acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, is a life-threatening condition that must be recognized and treated immediately in order to save the patient’s life. Therefore, it is important to be able to recognize and respond to the symptoms of ARDS.

    Individuals experiencing ARDS may have a cough and a fever (but the fever only generally comes if the ARDS is caused by something like pneumonia). Low blood pressure is common as the heart grows weak. Confusion and exhaustion are further signs of the lack of oxygen inherent with ARDS.

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  • What is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome?

    Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a very serious life threatening condition. Basically, it is nothing less than a failure of the respiratory system. An individual with ARDS may begin to breathe rapidly as blood oxygen levels decline.

    ARDS can result from an extended or serious illness such as pneumonia or patients who have suffered major injuries. ARDS must be addressed quickly or the patient can die from lack of sufficient oxygen.

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  • LifeChoice POC from the Patient's Perspective

    The manual is a nice and has tough plastic coated pages that will stand up to frequent use. It is the shortest one, only 15 pages. Some manuals are 40 pages long, but it is clear and concise with cautions and warnings up front. It had excellent simple, easy to understand instructions. It could have used a couple of pictures - diagrams about charging or how to hook up the straps, but I figured out how to do it.

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  • Uneasy Rider? Easy Rental Program

    Traveling with oxygen does not have to be an “uneasy” experience. During the summer months, many of our patients at AMSR hit the road by car and explore new places and revisit old ones. Using oxygen in your car is fairly simple if we are prepared and educated!

    Before enjoying some summer fun, the first thing to do should be to check with your physician. Let them that you’re planning a trip; make sure that any restrictions on your activities are discussed. It’s also wise to have copies of any prescriptions with you, including one for oxygen, just in case something comes up along the way. Things to discuss with your doctor should include: traveling at higher altitudes than normal, going to areas of high pollution, extreme temperature or humidity and seasonal allergies. A statement from your physician is vital if traveling by air.

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  • Health Problems or Sleep Problems?

    If you've ever had a baby, or taken care of a baby for any length of time, you know that when they start crying, you don't always know what's wrong. Sometimes you try everything you can think of and still they cry. It's frustrating to be unable to diagnose the problem, and even more frustrating when you think you know what's wrong but it just doesn't calm them down.

    The same sort of problem can occur no matter how old a person gets. Sure, most people stop the incessant crying, and as they learn to speak they can make specific complaints, but often the diagnosis still ends up wrong, and the problem continues. A common misdiagnosis involves sleep problems, especially sleep apnea.

    Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder involving pauses in breathing or periods of very shallow breathing. It is diagnosed with an overnight sleep study. If no sleep study is done, however, a person can live with sleep apnea for some time and experience a wide range of effects that they don't know how to explain. These can be confused with depression, dementia, or many other mental or physical ailments. Sleep apnea can sometimes go on for years before being identified, impacting health in other ways, as well as social and occupational status.

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  • Explaining a Hyperbaric Chamber

    For some oxygen therapy, it’s necessary to use a higher pressure than standard atmospheric pressure.  This is called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. A hyperbaric chamber is used to maintain the pressure and can also control the amount of oxygen present. These chambers are generally capsules in which a person can lay and receive the necessary treatment.

    There are several reasons a hyperbaric chamber may be used. When a diver comes to the surface too quickly, they risk a condition called decompression sickness, or the bends. Because of the drastic change in pressure, nitrogen bubbles develop in the body, blocking oxygen and causing other damage. The increased pressure in a hyperbaric chamber helps bring the body back into balance.

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  • Understanding Liquid Oxygen

    All elements can exist as either a solid, liquid, or gas, but very few exist in all of these forms naturally. Oxygen is no different. While water, which is made up of mostly oxygen, is one of the rare substances that exist in nature in every form, oxygen itself exists only as a gas. However, the technology exists to bring oxygen to low enough temperatures and high enough pressures to condense into its liquid form.

    Liquid oxygen displays a number of interesting properties. Because it has to be so cold, it will freeze anything it comes in contact with, and can cause it to become extremely brittle. It is also a powerful oxidizing agent, causing organic material to burn rapidly and energetically when put together. Some materials become very unstable and unpredictable when soaked in liquid oxygen, detonating in some cases just from light impact.

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  • What is a Nebulizers

    A nebulizer is a device used to administer medication as a mist inhaled into the lungs. They are commonly used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD. Medication is added to the machine as a liquid, and then changed into a mist in order to be inhaled. This method is preferable to ingestion or other delivery methods because it targets the respiratory tract directly. This speeds the onset of the medication and reduces some side effects.

    Nebulizers use oxygen, compressed air, or ultrasonic power to break up the medications into small aerosol droplets. An aerosol is a mixture of gas and liquid particles, such as mist. To inhale a medication, it’s necessary for these aerosol droplets to be extremely small, or they will only be absorbed by the mouth rather than lower airways where they are needed. Unfortunately, not all nebulizers are able to achieve the small size necessary, so some research is warranted.

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