If you have breathing difficulties, you’re aware that summer brings some complications. High humidity and extreme heat can exacerbate conditions such as COPD. In fact, one study showed a strong association between weather-related heat and emergency hospitalizations related to respiratory distress. Meaning, those that suffer from these conditions must take even better care of themselves when temperatures begin to rise.

So, as summer approaches, it's important for individuals who rely on home medical oxygen to take extra precautions to ensure their safety.

Home medical oxygen is a life-sustaining therapy that is used to treat a variety of respiratory conditions. It's important to follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents or emergencies.

Here are some tips for safely using your home medical oxygen during the summer:

·      Store Oxygen Properly: Oxygen cylinders should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Avoid storing cylinders in direct sunlight, near heat sources, or in areas where the temperature can reach above 120°F. Keep oxygen cylinders away from flammable materials and sources of ignition, such as cigarettes, candles, or gas stoves.

·      Avoid Direct Sunlight: Oxygen is not flammable, but it does support combustion. Oxygen can cause a fire to burn hotter and faster than normal. Avoid exposing oxygen tubing or cylinders to direct sunlight or other sources of heat, such as a grill or campfire. Keep oxygen cylinders in a shaded area or covered with a protective material.

·      Stay Hydrated: Oxygen therapy can cause dryness in the mouth and throat. It's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids. Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeinated beverages, as they can dehydrate you.

·      Be Careful When Traveling: If you plan to travel with your oxygen equipment, make sure to notify your transportation provider in advance. It's important to follow the guidelines provided by your oxygen supplier, as well as the rules and regulations of the transportation provider. Keep your oxygen cylinder in an upright position during travel.

Learn more about traveling with your oxygen here.

·      Have a Backup Plan: Power outages are common during summer storms. If you rely on an electric oxygen concentrator, it's important to have a backup plan in case of a power outage. Consider having a backup oxygen supply, such as portable oxygen tanks or oxygen concentrators that operate on battery power. (If you’re a Complete Care customer, know you’re in good hands. We provide all oxygen patients with a large backup tank.)

·      Keep Oxygen Equipment Clean: Regularly clean your oxygen equipment to prevent infection. Wipe down your equipment with a clean cloth or disinfectant wipe. Replace your oxygen tubing every three months or when it becomes visibly dirty or damaged.

It’s important to follow safety guidelines when using home medical oxygen, especially during the summer months. By storing oxygen properly, avoiding direct sunlight, staying hydrated, being careful when traveling, having a backup plan, and keeping equipment clean, you can help ensure your safety and wellbeing.

If you have any questions or concerns about your home medical oxygen, contact Complete Care, your local Alabama oxygen supplier today.

Complete Care is a premier Home Medical Equipment (HME) company serving the Northeast Alabama region. With a steadfast commitment to improving the quality of life for our valued customers, we specialize in providing a comprehensive range of medical equipment and supplies for individuals in need of in-home healthcare solutions.