What Would Happen If Oxygen Just Disappeared?

oxy-imagesOxygen is vitally important to us; not just because we need to breath it but because of how versatile and widely used it is:

•    Everyone would get sunburnt as oxygen makes up the ozone and normally helps to block out UV light.
•    The sky would get darker during the day if there were fewer oxygen molecules to scatter blue light; the sky would appear less blue and more black.
•    All engines that use internal combustion would stop working as oxygen is fundamental for combustion.
•    All pieces of untreated metal would suddenly weld to one another, as usually the oxidation layer on the metal prevents this.
•    Your inner ear would explode as you would lose 21% of the air pressure in an instant, as if you had been suddenly transported to high altitude.
•    Any building made of concrete would crumble as oxygen helps to bind all concrete structures.
•    Water is one third oxygen, without it the Hydrogen becomes a free gas and expands, thereby destroying all living cells and evaporating the oceans.
•    The earth below us would disappear and we would free fall. The earth’s crust is made up of oxygen, about 45% so without it the majority of the earth’s crust would disappear from beneath our feet.

References: http://www.breathing.com

Tips On Using Supplemental Oxygen With Children

Many babies and young children require oxygen treatment at home, and depending upon the condition this could be for a short period of time or long-term. Here are some tips to help make life a little easier when dealing with oxygen at home.

Baby_diving

The nasal cannula that supplies the oxygen to their nose requires fixing securely to the child’s face to ensure that the tubing does not become dislodged. Keeping the tubing fixed to a child can be difficult. You can use special cushioning plasters to have under the tubing so that it does not rub the child’s face and the fixing tape can be applied over the tubing and stick to these cushioning plasters. Also when you need to re-secure the tubing it means that you won’t have to keep pulling tape directly off of the child’s skin.

However if your child requires oxygen overnight it is best to use tape directly onto the skin to ensure more secure fixing to the skin in case they move in their sleep and the tubing moves. You can wet the tape warm water or baby lotion though using tissue or cotton wool so that the tape can be removed more easily without pulling your child’s skin or causing them discomfort.
Older children may not need the tubing to be taped as the tubing can be looped behind their ears abd the toggle pulled comfortably taught behind their head.

If your child has sensitive skin there are alternative tapes that can be used if your child has eczema or other sensitive or allergic reactions to the normal tape.
The use of petroleum-based creams such as Vaseline around the nose should be avoided as these react with oxygen and may cause soreness, however water based creams such as E45 or KY Jelly can be used instead.
If your child tries to pull the nasal cannula off then ensure that the tapes are secured closer to their nose, rather than on their cheeks and close to their ears to reduce the gap.

As your child gets older they become more active at night and they may wiggle around more. You could put mittens on your child’s hands at night to prevent them from being able to tug at the tubing. Also the tubing should be checked so that it doesn’t become wrapped around them. To prevent this you can thread the tubing down through their baby-gro or down through their pyjamas so that the tubing comes out by their feet and have the oxygen supply unit at the bottom of their crib or bed.

Some children resist wearing nasal cannulas or face masks and it can sometimes help to let them play with a spare one, to see it on another child or to put it on a favourite stuffed animal or toy. If your child’s face becomes irritated by the cannula then try using a face mask instead or the use of a humidifier can keep the oxygen moist and prevent nose irritation from dry air.

Children are very adaptable and may not always let you know when something is wrong therefore you will need to be observant for any changes that may indicate that they are not receiving enough oxygen. Such as them feeling drowsy or tired, morning headaches, shortness of breath, less active, breathing harder or has blue lips or nail beds. If these symptoms appear then you will need to call your doctor. It may just be an indicator that the oxygen rate needs to be adjusted or there may be a medical problem.

References: http://www.alderhey.nhs.uk and http://patients.thoracic.org

How’s Best to Chauffeur Your Oxygen Around?!

The wonder of lightweight and portable devices is that you can get out of the house and keep active, however it is medical equipment containing a gas that aids combustion, so safety precautions should be taken for your own safety.

car

•    It is recommended that you carry a copy of your documentation with you such as your Medical Oxygen Data Sheet.

•    Inform your car insurance company that you intend to carry oxygen in your car.

•    Keep the car well ventilated, open a window and set the ventilation to take in air from outside.

•    Do not smoke or allow others in the car to smoke.

•    Never transport the liquid oxygen mother unit container in the car.

•    If possible carry your spare cylinders securely in the boot of the car. Use a cargo net to secure them properly.

•    Remember to also secure the ambulatory cylinders or portable liquid flask in your car to prevent any harm coming to passengers or to the vehicle.

•    Keep the amount of oxygen that you transport to a minimum and don’t transport large, high capacity cylinders in the car.
•    Instead of placing the equipment loose on the back seat, strap it into the seat with a seat belt or place securely in the foot well in the back.

In summary remember that if loose the equipment could shift or move and damage the car, the passengers or the equipment itself so secure it well.

Also due to oxygen’s ability to aid combustion you need to keep the car well-ventilated in case of a leak to prevent a build-up of the gas within the car and to not smoke around it.

Carry documentation in case of an accident as if you are unconscious the emergency services could then be made aware of it’s presence and also of your medical need for oxygen which could save your life.

References: http://www.bochealthcare.co.uk

Which Oxygen Breathing System Is Best For Me?

Nasal Cannulas

Nasal Cannulas tend to be popular as they can be used for their simplicity and patient convenience.
nasal
Nasal Cannula prevents re-breathing of expired air and are comfortable for long periods of time.
There is increased patient compliance with a nasal cannula as patients are able to speak, eat and drink more easily as the mouth isn’t covered. It is smaller and more discrete and patient’s are more likely to wear it continuously.

Local irritation and dermatitis may occur if you are being prescribed a high flow rate of oxygen. The use of humidified oxygen is recommended with its use to reduce the dryness of the mucosal wall in the nasal cavities, particularly when using flows of greater than 4 l/min. They can withstand flow rates of 1-9 L/min up to 40% oxygen.

If you want to move around a lot some patients find that the tubing can slip off from around the ears or that they can rub the cheeks and ears, although special tube cushioning can be supplied to reduce this.

Face masks

mask
Many patients prefer the traditional face mask.

There are a few different types of face masks but the basic principle is the same. They deliver a higher rate of oxygen than cannulas;  up to 15 L/min of oxygen and up to 60% oxygen concentration, depending upon the patient’s breathing and tidal volume.
They are normally soft and mould easily to the face, although they should be fitted to ensure that they do fit your face properly and that there are no gaps where the mask doesn’t meet the face properly as the oxygen will escape through these gaps.

They have head straps or ear loops to allow easy fitting and removal. The clear ones allow others to visually spot any indications that you are in difficulty.

Most masks are careful to direct the oxygen directly into the nostrils and not upwards towards the eyes which can cause eye irritation. Some face masks have a horizontal tube to further reduce this risk.

References: http://www.flexicare.com and http://www.christie.nhs.uk

Does Your Gender Dictate Your Oxygen Consumption?

A new study has found that women require more oxygen when breathing when compared to men. It was discovered that during exercise the muscles around the diaphragm and ribcage that are needed for breathing consume more oxygen in women than in men.

Bathroom-gender-sign

As more oxygen is required by the respiratory muscles to breathe, women consume more energy and require a higher oxygen intake, which increases during exercise. Therefore women need to breathe more to compensate for this increased oxygen requirement.

Previous research indicated that women’s airways ate narrower than men’s, even when both have the same sized lungs and therefore moving the same amount of oxygen through the airways costs more energy-wise for women than for men.

The study also suggested that if women’s respiratory muscles require more oxygen then blood flow is directed here and may be reduced from other parts of the body such as the leg muscles and for cardiac output. Therefore the physical performance of other parts of the body may decrease due to the focus of the body to concentrate the oxygen to travel mainly to the respiratory muscles.

The findings could prove important in the treatment of lung disorders, as a reduced lung capacity combined with harder working muscles may lead to a higher energy demand, with it being greater in women. These findings could be important in the clinical management of people with lung disorders and lead to more focus on the gender of the patient as to how best to treat them such as altering their fitness programs.

 

 

References: http://health.usnews.com and http://www.foxnews.com

Breathing Could Help You To Lose Weight!

Seeing as breathing is such a vital and fundamental part of our lives, one might think that we do it correctly, however we often don’t. We tend to take shallow breaths and hold our breaths when focusing or under pressure. This lowers our oxygen levels causing fatigue and a lack of clarity and we can make poor decisions and perform poorly as a result. Sitting still in an office chair can also create an oxygen deficit and it is the reason why after vegging-out in front of the TV we feel exhausted even though we haven’t done anything strenuous.

oxycise

Oxygen thins the blood slightly which helps to lower your blood pressure and speed up the blood flow. This increases your metabolism and burns more calories, therefore the more oxygen you have in your blood, the faster your metabolism will be. You also burn more calories sitting outside than you do sat indoors, as cool air increases your metabolism as it tries to expend more energy keeping your body at a comfortable temperature. Therefore it is more beneficial to exercise outside than indoors.

If you’re unable to exercise then deep, active breathing for a couple of minutes a day can increase your oxygen intake, reduce stress, strengthen muscles and burn more calories.

Also oxygen helps to break down fat molecules and the blood then picks up the waste carbon dioxide to transport it out of the body via the lungs, therefore the more oxygen we take in, the more fat molecules that can be burned off.

‘Oxycise’ is the latest weight loss programme sweeping across America claiming to transform body shape, shed pounds, improve muscle tone and boost energy level based on the information above. Instead of doing high impact aerobic exercise, Oxycise breathing techniques can be done anywhere. The deep breathing forces us to use more of our lungs, to tighten and strengthen the diaphragm muscles which makes our muscles contract and combined with some gentle exercises can burn fat and tone up muscles. A study even found that a women burned 140% more calories than riding an exercise bike.

However sceptics say that breathing too deeply is harmful as it can ‘disturb the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen needed to neutralise the blood and can cause light headiness and fainting’ and that deep breathing is not going to burn enough calories to transform body shape, it may burn up 2% fat at best, Prof McDonald states.

The jury’s still out without more detailed studies and research but it’s an idea to definitely think about as it is such an easy technique that we can all do.

 

 

References: http://www.womensperfectbody.com and http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Tips For The Use Of Supplemental Oxygen

Health Tips:

Jogging_Woman_in_Grass
Below are some practical tips to aid in improving your health if you need to use supplemental oxygen at home.

1.    Live on the first floor. If you’re moving or if you can alter your home set-up, opt for a bedroom on the first floor as taking the stairs is good exercise.
2.    Buy safe shoes. Whether you’re relaxing at home or getting some exercise, comfortable, supportive, lace-up shoes are a sensible purchase. Wear a shoe that’s going to be good for balance and ensure foot and joint support. Not sandals or flip flops as these are not good for balance or grip.
3.    Pick up clutter. Older people are at a greater risk of tripping over clutter due to a decreased ability to stay balanced but also you should keep walking paths clear so that oxygen cords don’t get tangled up.  Besides clutter, throw rugs are a tripping hazard and should be removed.
4.    Walk slowly and steadily rather than quickly or at various speeds. Pacing yourself can help retain both your energy and your stamina.
5.    Do necessary tasks and harder chores at whatever time of day you feel is your best breathing time, so you may need to adjust and do certain activities at new times.
6.    Rest when you NEED to rest and don’t force yourself to overdo things.
7.    Buy yourself a grabbing device for picking up things from the floor and for reaching items on high shelves. Activities that require you to bend over or to raise your arms above your head will make you more short of breath.
8.    Use water-based lubricants to help soothe your skin. Oxygen may dry out your skin, mouth, or throat so you can use gauze to prevent your ears or cheeks from becoming sore and water-based lubricants on your lips and nostrils to prevent dryness.
9.    Wear oxygen during activities. Many people tend to take off their oxygen when they climb stairs or walk to the post box, but these are the times when your body needs oxygen the most. You can use a portable oxygen pack that you can switch to but return to the concentrator when you have finished your task. If you don’t wear the oxygen then you’ll become exhausted and put yourself at greater risk for injury.
10.    Take your oxygen into the shower. Many people don’t realize that they can wear oxygen while bathing and doing so can help you avoid fatigue while you complete what could be a strenuous task and make it safer, too. You can put a fan in the bathroom as it can be difficult to be closed up in a hot, humid bathroom. Keep the door open if you can, use a fan to blow air out, and crack open any windows to help you breathe easier. You can buy a shower chair, which will allow you to sit down while you bathe, helping you to conserve energy and avoid falls. You can also install a detachable shower head, which is very helpful because you won’t have to hold your arms over your head which is a tiring position that also disturbs your balance in the shower. If it has a long, flexible arm it will make it easier to reach all of your body parts with less exertion.

References:
http://www.drugs.com and http://www.thelamfoundation.org and http://www.everydayhealth.com