Tips for Using Oxygen During Special Events

COPD and asthma shouldn’t hold you back for the things you love. Not only does this include travel, but it also encompasses special events. Don’t opt out of the next family reunion, wedding or party just because you have the misconception that you won’t be able to continue with your oxygen therapy. With all the solutions available these days, there are portable oxygen concentrators available to fulfill your medical needs while preventing you from missing out on all the fun.

Portable Concentrators

When it comes to attending special events, portable oxygen concentrators are the way to go. Such systems allow you to move around freely without having to worry about cords and outlets. At the same time, these systems are much lighter than traditional concentrators, with an average weight of ten pounds or less.

Unlike traditional units, portable oxygen concentrators work off of battery power. This essentially gives you the mobility you need to participate in events and activities that require free movement. At the same time, you can also plug in the unit to an outlet when sitting down so you don’t waste all the batteries.

Tips for Use

Portable oxygen is certainly the best choice when attending special events. Still, there are tips you should be aware of before using your system. First, it is important to understand that portable concentrators are intended for short-term use. Since the systems are battery-powered, they don’t last as long as other concentrators. This means you should plug the unit in whenever possible, and that you should always travel with your traditional unit as a backup.

If your special event is expected to last for several hours, it may be worth investing in a unit with a large cylinder. Such concentrators last longer than those with smaller cylinders. On the flipside, portable concentrators with small cylinders are lighter in weight and may be more comfortable for events that require standing and walking.
Travel Considerations

Travel by car is permissible with portable oxygen tanks, but it is best to make sure you venture out with a friend or family member for safety reasons. You can plug the unit directly in your car with a DC adapter, but you should bring an extra set of batteries in case the current set runs out. Also make sure that you bring your regular oxygen tank to use so that you don’t waste all your batteries before your special event.

More preparation is needed when you fly by air. While airliners are extremely more accommodating to oxygen therapy patients now than in years past, there are still guidelines you must follow before boarding the plane. Speak with an airline representative upon booking and let them know your medical needs. Not only will you be given special boarding privileges, but this helps the airliner know how they might best accommodate you. Also be prepared to show documents as proof of your condition—talk to your doctor about obtaining copies.
Your oxygen needs may also change when you travel by air. The increased altitude will require you to take in more oxygen, so you should talk to your doctor in advance. A pulse dose feature can also help ensure proper oxygen intake with ease. Don’t forget to carry a rescue inhaler in your carry-on bag just in case.

About 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.

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