Managing with oxygen at home

Having oxygen at home for the first time can be daunting and anxiety provoking.  Many may choose not to use oxygen due to concerns around the stigma it brings, however, overcoming this fear can open up a new lease of life to participate in activities which were otherwise too difficult.  Advice will be provided from the local oxygen assessment centrewhen you are prescribed with oxygen. They will let you know the amount, time to use and how best to use it.  You may be given different types of oxygen concentrators, one for home and a portable one for outdoors or when you are mobile around the house.   

There are a few things to do when you are first prescribed oxygen: 

  • Alert your insurance companies, this will ensure their information is up to date to reduce any risk of in-valid claims 
  • Ensure you have given us smoking, this will render the oxygen ineffective and increase the risk of a serious fire 
  • Tell your electrical supplier that you are using oxygen, this is to ensure if you have a power cut you are given priority 
  • Make sure you set an alert to yourself to order more oxygen well before your one run out 
  • Ask your prescriber about keeping a back-up tank which will run without electricity 
  • If you are concerned about fire risks at home, look at your local fire service guidelines online for information or call your local fire service for some additional safety advice 


Travelling with oxygen abroad 

  • If you wish to fly, it is important to get assessed to determine if you need in-flight oxygen and inform the airline to ensure there are no issues with getting this for the flight 
  • You will need to organise your own oxygen with a company abroad for the full extent of your holiday. 

Useful contacts:  

The Department of Health - 0207 210 4850 

The British Lung Foundation -  0300 003 0555 


Equipment to assist at home 

  • If you are a wheelchair user, you can adapt your wheelchair or scooter to hold an oxygen tank by purchasing a holder.  It is important to be aware that putting a large oxygen tank on the back of a standard attendant or self-propel wheelchair can affect the stability of the chair.  Adding on anti-tippers or having the wheels adjusted so they are set back further can help improve stability. If your wheelchair has been supplied by the NHS, advise your local wheelchair service about your oxygen requirements so they can provide you with support.   
  • An oxygen backpack carrier is an essential piece of equipment for anyone who will be using their oxygen when mobilising.  It is important to get a backpack which is supportive and comfortable, particularly if you experience back or neck pain 
  • Portable oxygen trollies are an alternative for backpacks for those who are unable to carry their oxygen on their backs.   
  • Walking aids such as rollator’s can be purchased with oxygen bottle holders to provide adequate support for the compressed oxygen tank while using the rollator to assist with walking.  Click here to view one of our rollator's (more available on our site)



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