British Lung Foundation
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Does anyone else have this problem. When an oxygen cylinder is empty and the tubing has to be removed from the cylinders nozzle, my husband who has end stage COPD/Bronchiectasis finds it totally impossible to pull the tubing off the nozzle to change it to a full one due to a weakness in his hands so I have to do it.

How do people with arthritis and other joint complaints who live on their own manage to get a grip on the darned thing to pull it off. I have good strong hands and even I find it a tussle.

These oxygen cylinder are the most old-fashioned pieces of equipment I can imagine. Surely there must be a better way for people who are breathing compromised to be given oxygen instead of having to carry a big lump off iron around with them all day.

My husband cannot use the nasal tubing due to a nose blockage so has to rely on a mask, so when we go out he has to take two 400 cylinders with him as they run out so quickly and as you know you cannot use a conserver with a mask.

He is starting pulmonary re- hab this week and we are having to take the two 400 cylinders with us. I am over 70 years old and am having to carry them as he has not the strength to even carry one, never mind two and what with carrying my handbag and his bottled water I am totally cream crackered, and this is twice a week. I am waiting for delivery of a shopping trolley to put them in.

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10 Replies

Will admit i dont use oxygen myself,,but what i have seen,and heard it does not seem to have changed much since the 50s..I know oxygen is pressurised but there must be a better way,,wonder if it is down to cost,, ???

I agree the portable cylinders are out dated, heavy and I get my legs caught up in the tubing, I tend to carry them myself and I find them heavy, don't want a trolley.

Lib x

Hi Sweetthing, I don't use oxygen myself but it seems silly it just pushes on and off. A simple clip on clip off mechanism would be much better. I hardly have the strength to pull to cellophane off a ready meal these days so would be useless! Glad to see your hubby is getting to rehab! Libby


Ditch the handbag! You will manage easily without that mobile storage unit. Seriously though, you would have thought that with all the advances in plastics they could design something lighter and more convenient. Love from Bobby xx

Hi Sweetthing,

Try twisting the tubing when pulling off rather than just pulling it. I find this works for me. Hope your husband enjoys rehab, it really helps to manage condition better.

Best wishes

Jo :-)

Hi Sweetthing

I was just going say twist instead of pull as well ;) I have arthritis in my thumbs so find gripping things damn hard but I have found one or two things to help. I keep a piece of rough towel to help me get a grip this may help you.

When I went to rehab one of the ladies had s super oxygen carrier - it was a bit like a shopping trolley but it had clips on the handles to thread the tubes through and a zip compartment for use as a handbag too. Big problem though she got in in America where they seem to do things like that so much better than in this company you could always do an online search for something similar if your trolley doesn't work.

Good Luck

Janet xxx

Hi Sweetthing

I am totally sympathise with you when it comes to taking heavy oxygen cylinders out and about. I use the 400 cylinders with a conserver. Last Tuesday, I went on a day trip with U3A to Lancaster Castle. We were out for 8 hours and so I had to bring two 400 cylinders with me. I put one in my usual shopping trolley and I put the spare cylinder in a small suitcase. That way my right shoulder did not have to take all the strain. I was lucky as I was able to keep the small suitcase in the luggage compartment of the coach and just change over the cylinders when I needed to. It was a very good day out and I really enjoyed myself.

Have you asked the physios if they can supply oxygen for your husband while he does the pulmonary rehab course? Especially if the course is being held in a hospital gym. Good luck.




There is a company that makes light weight gas cylinders.

Whether they are approved by you supplier is a question to ask.

BOC is mentioned on there web site.

An email enquire would take no harm.

UK address

Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd





Thank you all for your comments, yes I do twist and turn to pull the tubing off but I am sure some little so and so gets the super glue out in the night and glues the thing on to make it more difficult for me to remove it.

Him indoors is driving me mad, he has got it into his head that he needs an oxygen cylinder in every room in the house plus one in the car, he has a concentrator so should not need so many cylinders around the rooms.

When we go out he tells me it is on Red, so I have to change the damned thing, then when we come back and he checks the other cylinder he tells me that one is on Red. I asked him what the hell was he doing with it, blowing up balloons but he says he uses the cylinders during the day because the oxygen is better than the concentrator (is it?). All I can hear from morning and night is him calling my name, he is driving me to an early grave.

I have no time to myself at home, we are having to go to pulmonary rehab twice a week, I was hoping for a couple of hours me time whilst he was doing his stuff but no, I have to stay with him in case he needs the toilet so I can push him in the wheelchair. I am struggling with the wheelchair in and out of the car, he refuses to get a mobility scooter, god knows why.

He won't go to bed until 11.30 pm and shouts at me when I tell him I am going, he calls me all the names under the sun. He doesn't get up until nearly 11 am every day I am up at 7 am taking the dog out and he wonders why I am tired.

I think I do well for my age 70 but he seems to think I am in my thirties the way I have to fetch and carry for him. I am sat in the front room at the minute and I can hear him calling my name, do you remember when our kids were tiny and all you could hear was mum, mum,mum all day long, well that is what is happening to me except that he is calling my name non-stop all day long, he even tells me the dog wants to go out even when I took him for a walk 15 minutes before, it is to get me into the kitchen to make drinks for him.

He refuses to answer the 'phone as he cannot be bothered to get up of his backside , but yet interferes when I am talking, telling me what to say and what not to say, he even goes on my Facebook page and reads all my messages and tells me off for writing about certain things. I changed my password but he got so nasty I had to change it back, he evens puts messages of his own on and people think I have written them.

I have to turn his bed down every night, get his pillows stacked up, get his nebuliser plugged in and his oxygen cylinder next to the bed with his mask, and get his tablets ready to take and then wait for him to come upstairs on the chairlift and wind up the tubing , wait for him to use the toilet and get into bed, only then can I go to bed.

I am sick and fed up.

Sorry about the rant.

Twist and Pull.That should do it.

Then have a giggle before you settle down for the night

pleae read the KOTC humour show

your daily tonic

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