Emergency Preparedness: What Oxygen Users Should Know

Over one million Americans rely on supplemental oxygen therapy in order to breathe clearly and effectively. Whether due to emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or other respiratory diseases in the constellation of conditions we refer to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, some patients need oxygen therapy. A specialized medical device’s delivery of pure oxygen allows patients to enjoy the physical stamina, mental clarity, and overall quality of life they deserve.

Whether you’re operating a stationary oxygen concentrator or a portable one, using supplemental oxygen requires additional precautions. When severe weather strikes, knocking out power, patients need to be prepared to ride out the storm. Here’s what oxygen users should know for emergency preparedness.

Keep Batteries on Hand

Portable oxygen concentrators are not just a luxury for enjoying outdoor activities and travel—they can be a critical backup device if a home concentrator does not include battery backup of its own. When the electricity is out, the continuous flow of oxygen is out, too, which means deploying the portable concentrator until the power comes back. When doing so, you’ll need to be mindful of your battery capacity. Battery life ranges across models, with the smallest units offering just under three hours while others offer nearly 13 hours. You may need to keep additional batteries on hand to cycle through during a sustained outage.

Explore Home Generators

Patients who require the increased capacity and continuous flow that only home concentrators provide may have decided their days of venturing outside the home are through. In this case, rather than using a portable concentrator in a pinch, patients should find a way to continue using the home concentrator even without electric service. If the model does not have battery backup, you or your family members should pursue a home generator to provide power until service is restored. If you live in an area with frequent storms and ensuing outages, a generator is a worthwhile investment. Your utility provider may be able to help you procure a generator at a reduced cost for your situation.

When All Else Fails, Switch to Tanks

California and Texas, the country’s two most populous states, have both struggled to keep the power on as of late. Many other states deal with unreliable power grids as well. As a last resort when there’s no juice to run your concentrators, it may be beneficial to keep oxygen tanks or cylinders on hand to provide oxygen without the need for electricity. Keep your tanks safely stored and make sure they’re operational in case of emergency.

Getting Prepared With New Units

This covers much of what oxygen users should know about emergency preparedness. Additionally, they should know that Bridge To Care is here to help you find an oxygen concentrator for home use, as well as portable units for travel and home backup. Visit us today to find the concentrator models that are right for you.