Thursday, October 29, 2009

Home oxygen therapy is often used


Can people with heart or lung problems use oxygen at home? Yes, and there are a number of references on the subject. Here is one.

Use is often intermittent (for short periods, maybe when sleeping), or it may sometimes be continuous. It may result in the need for 24 hour caregiving assistance, or it may not. Certain safety precautions must be followed, such as making sure that all electrical outlets are constructed with three prongs. Compressed oxygen containers do not need electrical power, but liquid oxygen (familiar in high school chemistry class) does.

Here’s a good guide from CIGNA, an insurance company (a bad word in Michael Moore’s world). Blood gas studies are done first to determine the level of need. Often the need is relatively minimal. Often people have oxygen in hospitals or rehab stays but do not need it at home.

Wikimedia picture of home liquid oxygen canisters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Home_oxygen_cannisters.jpg. Note the condensation ice on the canisters.

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