British Lung Foundation
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Help with holiday

Hi, I hope someone will be able to give me some advise on the following. My dad has been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis and is getting gradually worse over the last 5 years. However, he is still wanting to take part in family activities and is sad that this is increasingly getting more difficult. He uses a combination of liquid oxygen from a tank and a concentrator at times. The problem is I am from Germany and live here in the uk with my family. When my parents come to visit us they travel by car now with a tank in the back to be used. This however only lasts for 4-5 days and there is always the stress and anxiety that he might run out before or during the travel back. I have been inquiring about the possibility of refilling the tank with the help air products - but have been told that it is not possible to refill the tank due to different adapter parts in the UK and in Germany. To the naked eye the tanks look exactely the same but apparently it would not work. The easiest would be if we were able top up whilst here and all the worry would be gone. I am very keen for him to continue to travel and especially seeing my son (now 5) growing up here as well as in Germany. He has a good set up in Germany and I fear he will abstain from travelling if this is getting worse and more so that also my mum will decide not to come as he is not able to. I used to order oxygen cylinder in the past - which I can do again, but they will get him through the time and still leave the issue of an empty tank for the travel back. I cannot imagine the anxieties he has and would not suggest anything. If anybody knows where there are possibilities to either refill German liquid oxygen tanks or another solution how one could tackle the problem - I would be very grateful. We live in the Manchester area and I know the refill station from air product is in Trafford park - but I have had no luck so far.many thanks.

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7 Replies

What about a portable oxygen concentrator it all depends on what he has e.g 4L, you can buy hire them Val

Hello Takeabreak :)

I had this problem (restrictions on travelling) until I was lucky enough to buy a second hand portable oxygen concentrator :) This provides my oxygen for up to 8 hours and is rechargeable via the mains supply. It can be used via a car battery too (plugged into the cigarette lighter socket). There is also a separate battery belt which extends the hours of use.

Perhaps you, or your father, could look into the possibility of obtaining one of these.

Whatever you choose, I hope your father is able to visit you for many more years to come :)

Thank you for such a quick reply! He does have a portable concentrator (eclipse) but the trouble is that the very first time when used it broke - luckily when he was at home. Since then he feels he needs the back up - maybe it was just a bad start and shattered his confidence and maybe for me and my family it would not be such a problem - but I would never suggest to him to rely on as he is obviously anxious and would feel not relaxed. Thank you anyway - I still hope I will find somewhere to just refill the tank he will have in the boot - x

I am going to the Lakes on Monday they supply a concentrator and Liquid 02 it is not the small one for the car but the larger one I have at home. They deliver these both to the hotel? Val

Hello Takeabreak

I am no expert but I rather suspect the liquid oxygen refill tanks are much of the same as those used here. My own experience of having oxygen deivered to my hotel in Spain, the same mother tank was the same as one I used to have in the UK and the filler tanks were also the same. If your father's health professional could send a copy of his "prescription" for oxygen supplies to your local supplier - Air Products I think you said? - then they would deliver his supplies direct to you if he is staying with you, or his hotel.

One alternative would be if his own supplier can fix him up with a "conserver" for use with his filler tank which would allow more time; eg a one hour tank would last 4 or 5 hours.

As someone else has mentioned using a POC which can then be plugged into the car as well as home electrics is one useful answer and if he already has one so much better. Worth having it repaired I would have thought.

Hope you manage to sort it out for him, good luck


Yes I was going to suggest a conserver, I have used them on airlines. The oxygen only comes out when you breath in. I would think he would have to organise it germany though as they fit on the tank itself. I have enclosed a linke from google images for you.

Good luck and I hope your parent keep that travel bug going.



Hello, my dad has PF too and has had it 4/5 years. Admitted to hopsital last night, not very well at all. We wengt down to Devon last month on holiday and Air Products arranged a concentrator and O2 to be delivered to the holiday destination. Maybe the difficulty lies in the fact that your dad lives in Germany and is not registered with the NHS you know, having a GP etc. They need to fill a HOOF form in I think to get the ball rolling.

What you can do is when your dad gets here, you can register him as a temporary resident with your GP for example and then he can have a prescription for o2. Check it out see if that helps.

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