Different forms of Oxygen: Hi, I’ve... - British Lung Foun...

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Different forms of Oxygen


Hi, I’ve been using Inogen pulsed Oxygen for the last 5 months, but last week at my Hospital appointment my SAT’s went down to 73% doing the 6 minute walk test even when using INOGEN.

I now need Long term oxygen but although I know about the portable small cylinders for when you are out and about I’m unsure what you have indoors.

I’ve read about concentrates etc but have no idea what they are.

Please can you help explain the different forms?

10 Replies

I just use ambulatory oxygen when I am walking outside of the house but have had different delivery methods indoors when Ive been unwell. You will probably be given a concentrator - a machine which is plugged into the electricity and works to obtain oxygen from the surrounding air. You can get a form to fill in to reclaim the electric expense.

When Ive been ill suddenly Ive had two giant cylinders brought in until the concentrator arrives. Both come with longish tubing, and with the concentrator not being temporary, someone from the oxygen company will attach your tubing to the wall around your house so you dont trip over it. They will talk to you about the best place for the concentrator to go.

You may still get given cylinders for going out, though if you need a high flow the paediatric ones might run out too quickly. What you can get attached to the cylinder is a conserver which turns continuous flow in a pulse flow, enabled by your breath - maybe you have that already.

You can also get a portable concentrator but the NHS doesnt supply them (I dont think) and they are quite expensive.

Hope this is the info you are looking for. Good luck :)

mary1956 in reply to O2Trees

Thank you, that’s really helpful. Have never seen the respiratory team regarding oxygen, because of Covid, so it’s been hard getting info.

O2Trees in reply to mary1956

You should have a dedicated oxygen nurse who will oversee your prescription and will see you regularly. Where I live the respiratory team which includes oxygen nurses and respiratory physios are separate from my medical practise and GPs. My oxygen nurse is fantastic, very encouraging and uplifting. I dont know how you get referred to the respiratory team but you could ask your GP about that.

mary1956 in reply to O2Trees

Hi, I had a telephone consultation in May. They said they would see me when clinics back up and running. Have heard nothing. Phoned today and have an appointment on the 12th, so hope to get things sorted.

Oxygen levels sometimes go down to 65% and at their best are 85%. Think it’s just another Covid delay.

Appreciate your reply.

O2Trees in reply to mary1956

I hope it works out for you Mary asap. Let us know please. Take care :)

barbs47 in reply to O2Trees

The NHS supplied my portable concentrator. No problem Barbs x

O2Trees in reply to barbs47

Ah interesting, dont think every postcode does.

Hi Mary, you've had a great reply from O2, so nothing to add there, but just want to say that the NHS does now supply portable oxygen concentrators - thank goodness. They are much easier to manage than the cylinders.

Your oxygen levels are very low, which is concerning. I hope long term oxygen will greatly improve those levels for you. Good luck with your appointment.

Hi Mary

Would you mind me asking which level you have your Imogen on and do you find it helpful?


Good luck and best wishes. Alberta

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