British Lung Foundation

Being mobile with a concentrator

My husband has been diagnosed with emphysema even though he has never smoked. We have a concentrator at home which he has to use for 16 hours a day but have no knowledge of how to get a mobile concentrator so that we can visit family and friends. We have been told he can have a portable canister but this will only last about an hour. Are you supposed to obtain multiple canisters so we can visit family and friends for a weekend or even have a holiday.

5 Replies


You are entitled to Ambulitory oxygen, which is by cylinders plus conserver if able to use pulse dose delivery. You can have as many cylinders as required. If practical.

If not already done so you will need to be assessed to decide you needs in LPM. It will be different than your home oxygen needs.

If pulse dose delivery can be used there is a portable battery/ mains powered concentrater. Imogen G2

Speak to your respitory team and discus your needs, there is usually a solution.


Hi I virtually live on oxygen for the same reason as your husband. I have the concentrator for use indoors and then I have oxygen cylinders with a conserver fitted for when out and about which means the cylinder lasts me for several hours but this will depend on flow rate needed. If I want to go away on holiday for for any overnight stay then my oxygen provider arranges for what I need to be delivered to where ever I am staying. Oxygen is also available within Europe for holidays but harder to arrange as you have to do that yourself which can be complicated. Hope this helps you.


Hi there, apeak to your respiratory team about weekends away and holidays who will send details of your husbands oxygen needs and where you will be staying to the oxygen provider who will deliver a home concentrator and portable cylinders for the duration of your stay. My respiratory team usually need a few days notice. I use liquid oxygen when out and about lasting around 5 hours on 3 contin flow. Hope you get it sorted soon as staying indoors is not much fun. Good luck.


I use a concentrator and cylinders. My concentrator is used at home on 2 litres per minute....I have my oxygen plumbed into the rooms I use so I don't have tubing trailing around which is a risk.

I need oxygen at 6 litres when ambulatory so I have 8 cylinders at home and I usually have them refreshed twice a week.

When we go on holiday (in the UK) I just phone my oxygen supplier requesting my usual prescription and it is delivered to our holiday address. This consists of a Concentrator and backup cylinder + 8 cylinders. Tubing etc is always delivered also.

We don't fly abroad now, mainly because of the cost of health insurance but also I find it difficult to arrange. Oxygen for Southern Ireland (where we go) is no problem to arrange.

Good luck in sorting everything out.

Thérèse. xxx


I'm also on oxygen 24 / 7 , you mentioned yours was plumbed into the rooms to prevent the tubing trailing on the floor. I have tripped many a time, and if it gets caught while walking and gets stuck feels like your nostril is split when pulled out. So I am very interested in how it was put in.

I think my cats think it's a toy, they keep biting it....😺

Wishing all a very Happy New Year🍷🍷🍷🥂🍻🎉🎉🎉

And hopefully healthy, ( as much as we are able )

Best wishes. Etch45 xxx


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