Coming Home With Oxygen? Follow These Tips

Getting sent home from the hospital or rehabilitation center with an oxygen tank can be a little stressful. Even if you got used to using oxygen at the hospital, using it at home can be quite a different story. It's normal for it to take you a week or more to adapt. However, there are some tips you should follow to help yourself adapt and also to ensure you're using oxygen safely.

Stock up on tubes and cannulas. 

Tubes can break. Canulas only last so long before getting so dirty you don't want to clean them. If your doctor or practitioner does not send you home with some new tubes and cannulas for your oxygen use, ask for some. Most hospitals and clinics will give you a few spares to get you started. Order a good supply once you get home so you always have them in stock.

Avoid open flames.

Oxygen is highly flammable. So, you won't want to have an open fire in the fireplace or even light a candle when you are using oxygen. If these are things you normally do, make other plans. Maybe you want to get some battery-operated candles or a wax melter. If you were using a fireplace for extra heat, consider getting a space heater instead. Even then, make sure you don't sit too close to it!

Show family members how to operate it.

You probably know how to operate your oxygen by now, but it's a good idea to make sure at least one other family member also knows how to use it. In case of emergency, you want someone to be able to turn your oxygen on and off. You also want them to know how to connect the cannulas and tubes in case you're ever too weak or tired to do this yourself.

Set up an oxygen tank maintenance schedule. Your oxygen tank and concentrator will need periodic maintenance from a professional. Ask your doctor to refer you to a company that does this work. Call them and set up a maintenance schedule as soon as you arrive home so you do not have to wait for service. If anything goes wrong with the mechanical parts of your oxygen setup, this is who you should call.

Hopefully this article has given you an idea of the most important things to do once you return home with oxygen. When in doubt, ask your doctor for more advice.