For the many thousands of people who depend on supplemental oxygen it is not something they like or something they looked forward to before they were prescribed with additional oxygen. It is however an ever present fact of their lives.
At this stage wishful thinking is worse than useless – it is an excuse not to accept their current health related situation.
Having said that, for a large percentage of people who live with supplemental oxygen, things are much better than they used to be, and perhaps more importantly, than they had imagined. And this is because of new developments in oxygen delivery systems. The developments that relate to design and technical advances, are much more user friendly.
Today a large, in fact a very large, proportion of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) lead much more active lives than they could have twenty or even ten years ago. Home oxygen units were the first major change. Prior to that patients lived with what could be termed as a clinical oxygen dependency. Now home oxygen units are able to supply their oxygen needs with out major problems.
There are three types of oxygen delivery systems for patients that need additional oxygen, and these are:
- Compressed oxygen tanks -that store oxygen as a gas.
- Liquid oxygen tanks – storing liquid oxygen tat is then released as a gas.
- Oxygen concentrators – These are not storage containers but machines that extract oxygen from the surrounding area; the concentrated oxygen is then delivered to the patient.
The end result is that living with supplemental oxygen is much easier than previously and this in a sort of reverse “Catch 22″, means that patients have much more positive attitudes with their overall health status; this in turn gives them the motivation for a more active lifestyle; which makes living with additional oxygen easier – and so on with the cycle.
Perhaps the most important advances in oxygen delivery systems is in the portable oxygen area.
These same home delivery systems have their equivalent as portable oxygen machines but with the added advantage of design developments that are reflected in size, weight, oxygen durability, and in the case of portable oxygen concentrators, power durability (with both a plug in option and rechargeable batteries).
The ongoing results – ongoing as new and improved models are still coming out – mean that living with supplemental oxygen, though not something desired by anyone, is today much easier and binging with it much greater mobility.
In other words the range of activities available to patients is so much greater that you can achieve a high quality of life in terms of greater freedom and mobility.