British Lung Foundation
35,435 members42,802 posts

Ambulatory Oxygen Equipment

I am presently faced with advice from my consultant that I should be using ambulatory oxygen for my advanced bronchiectasis and hypoxia. I am well aware of this need as my oxygen levels regularly drop to the 80%s on slight exertion, sometimes reaching around 78% when pushing too hard.

I have eventually accepted this situation, however I now need advice of what is the best equipment and can the NHS provide lightweight portable oxygen concentrators......If not can anybody suggest and recommend what is the best system to purchase privately...............robbo

7 Replies


A lot depends on your requirements, as in litres per minute, whether you need continuous or pulse.

Your home environment can be a deciding factor.

You should discuss your options with your oxygen team who will be responsible for authorising the prescription to your local provider.

Options are. Cylinder comes with bag and trolley. Suitable for both delivery systems. Weight about 3.3kg/4kg

Liquid oxygen comes with Dewar and refillable flask. Flask can weigh 2.2kg/3.4 kg

Or portable concentrater Imogen G2 comes with trolley can be heavy at about 5kg

If you know the name of you provider go to their website for further information

For self purchase.

Imogen G3 weight approx 2.2 kg with standard battery know goes to 5lpm on demand

Respironics mini igo weight approx 2.4 kg with standard battery goes to 5lpm on demand.

Self purchase require copy of Oygen prescription.

I use cylinder plus my own personal concentrater Imogen G3


I have an G3 oxygen concentrator my prescription is 3lts when being ambulant I am only lightweight and I find it heavy. My respiratory nurse tried to get me a G3 which would be more suitable for me and give me greater independence. But we we were informed by air liquide that the Inogen one G3 which they have in stock was for the south west and not for the north west which is where I live. My respiratory nurse was told this and said she was going to fight this decision but I've not heard anything from her since beginning of November that's certainly a postcode lottery.



I believe it only being tested at presents, hopefully it will be rolled nationally.

I purchased my own, i am on 4lpm, there are good.


If you are - or could be with oxygen - pretty active, then you can request an infants' cylinder to carry on your back. They are quite a bit lighter. I have one of these for times after infections when i need oxygen. It's not standard issue as it costs the NHS a bit more so some areas may be reluctant but my respiratory team was willing as they know I use it to e.g. dance, ride my bike etc, generally to lead a pretty normal life. Although it's more expensive than the adult cylinder, if you are more active and therefore are able to stay healthier, then the NHS may save, or break even maybe.



Air liquide the one I use will supply Paediatric cylinders if required they are often used for frail people.


Hi Stone, paediatric - that's the correct term, I couldn't think of it so thanks. Many people are just told to pull their cylinder along in a cart but I find that makes my whole body feel screw-wiff and lop-sided so I've been pretty insistent that I get the paediatric ones.

1 like


I too have bronchiectasis and hypoxia...and COPD. I have home and ambulatory oxygen therapy.

As part of my whole prescription my NHS Consultant included this on my 'free NHS' prescription.

The Marathon is a nifty little unit which I refill from a large Helios Liquid Oxygen base unit, that sits quite happily in my dining room in the corner. I refill probably once every two days, depending on how active I've been, and if I've had it set on 'Demand' or 'Continuous use'. A filled base unit is delivered whenever I request..I too am with Air Liquide. (being in the South West)

So the answer is Yes you can be prescribed a lightweight portable oxygen concentrators by the NHS no matter where you live in the UK....but you'll probably have to ask your Consultant for the prescription.

Good Luck and stay active.


You may also like...