Passport, bag and oxygen…

Holiday and travel to some people is the one period of time we feel relaxed, refreshed, indulged or even liberated. Travelling is a luxury and for some a necessity to free themselves from the every-day pressure of work life but for others with the need for supplemental oxygen, life threatening respiratory illnesses; sourcing and organising  medical oxygen is the first item on the list when going on holiday.

Oxygen Worldwide was setup to make travelling with oxygen a seamless service without it becoming a problem just part of the holiday check list. With the experience, 24hour customer service line and extensive network of oxygen suppliers internationally Oxygen Worldwide can arrange your holiday with oxygen effectively, efficiently and tailor-made to your needs.

For those oxygen patients who love to travel and don’t want to be tied down by conventional oxygen therapy you can purchase direct from OxygenWorldwide’s outlet site new and reconditioned portable oxygen concentrators.

With proper planning and guidance, you can go on a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation without worry with OxygenWorldwide.

OxygenWorldwide supplies medical oxygen in Dubai

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As Dubai is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, OxygenWorldwide has set up a local depot with medical oxygen equipment. From today (March 2016) we can arrange oxygen for you in aluminium cylinders as small as 2 ltr. If you need to be mobile these small light cylinders are an alternative to the portable oxygen concentrator (POC) that we are hoping to be able to have available soon in Dubai too. Please check with our call centre (24/7 in 5 languages) by e-mail info@oxygenworldwide.com or call (+34) 96 688 28 73 to see if we have POC’s available yet in Dubai.

We have also larger cylinders like a 4,5 Ltr., 9 Ltr. and 45 Ltr. Available, which can be delivered with a trolley if needed.

Many people use Dubai as a stopover for longer flights such as to other places in the southern hemisphere. Dubai is great for shopping and of course as an oxygen patient/user you will need to be mobile. Our main objective is therefore to organise for you predominantly mobile equipment in Dubai. The fantastic climate in Dubai gives you the opportunity to spend lots of time on the beach, even if you are using oxygen.

With 22 years of experience we at OxygenWorldwide understand the needs of oxygen users and we will do our utmost to meet your requirements. If you are travelling with your own portable oxygen concentrator but you need a back-up provision in case your POC has broken down or you do not want to rely 24 hours on your POC (as not all POC’s can be used on a 24 hour basis) we can of course arrange a back-up cylinder in your hotel, resort etc.

OxygenWorldwide is active in more than 100 countries. In a number of these countries do we provide a Airport Service (A.S.). This means that we will have, on your arrival, someone at the door of the aircraft to hand you over a portable oxygen device so you can make your way to your hotel etc. with oxygen. On your departure we will again have someone at the door of the aircraft, who will collect the equipment again from you. If there are cases, due to custom regulations, that we cannot meet you at the door of the aircraft then we will have someone meet you in another place within the airport. Please contact us to find out what possibilities there are in Dubai and in other countries. We hope you will have a great stay in Dubai.

What has oxygen got to do with camping

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Fatalities have risen this summer and as there are still a few weeks remaining until the end of the season the government have been pushing preventative warnings out to all holiday makers. Deciding to go camping or to stay in a caravan sounds like a harmless and easily planned event. This is why it is popular with older people, as it is easy to travel to and any disabilities or medical conditions can usually be easily managed, especially with a caravan as it is basically just a smaller version of your own home. However there are a few things that must be remembered when doing so, otherwise your holiday could go disastrously wrong.

The main cause of fatalities has been due to carbon monoxide poisoning and related dangers. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous substance which is created when fossil fuels such as gas and solid fuels like charcoal and wood fail to combust fully due to a lack of oxygen. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
This is usually caused by people cooking inside or allowing their BBQ’s to cool off inside the tent or caravan. When fuels are burning, the carbon monoxide being emitted is converted into relatively harmless carbon dioxide. But once the flame has gone out carbon monoxide continues to be produced and is no longer burnt off. The fumes build up in such an enclosed space quickly and many have died from inhaling carbon monoxide while they sleep. As carbon monoxide is inhaled, it enters the bloodstream and binds to the haemoglobin in red blood cells, replacing and blocking the oxygen molecules, which are normally attached. Your body is slowly starved of its oxygen as it cannot bind to the haemoglobin or travel into any tissues.
Another danger is from using open flame gas stoves, which if are not working properly or are left on can release harmful carbon monoxide. The open flames from a stove or BBQ also increase the risk to those that use oxygen as it is highly combustable and there have been incidences of explosions and severe burns where people have been cooking with their oxygen close by.
Make sure that tubing does’nt become tangled, equipment is secure and not used near open flames.

Oxygen therapy is the main treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning as the high concentration levels of oxygen basically forces displacement of the carbon monoxide molecules from the haemoglobin so that the oxygen can take its place.  If you do start feeling any symptoms that could be carbon monoxide poisoning then having your oxygen close to hand could save your life. Some people keep their portable concentrator near to them when they sleep in case they awaken with breathing difficulties.

Barbeque safety
Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you have finished cooking the BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use
Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm
Never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping
Place your cooking area well away from your tent. Always ensure there is an adequate supplyv of fresh air in the area where the BBQ is being used

Symptoms of CO poisoning include:
•    headaches
•    drowsiness
•    dizziness
•    chest pains
•    nausea
•    vomiting
At high levels, CO poisoning can cause:
•    sudden collapse
•    loss of consciousness
•    death
It’s not just BBQ season that you need to worry about CO poisoning, with winter around the corner many deaths occur from faulty boilers and open flames being used to help heat the home.
If you already have respiratory issues then even a small amount of carbon monoxide can greatly impact your oxygenation and breathing so ensure you have a monitor at home.

Carbon monoxide advice
Warning signs can include symptoms that disappear if you are away from your house, or which are worse in winter when the central heating is on more
Other people in the house, or pets, fall ill with similar symptoms
Clues to a leak can include black, sooty marks around gas fires, boilers or stoves
Smoke building up in rooms due to faulty flues
Do not sleep in a room that has an unflued gas fire or a paraffin heater
Make sure your kitchen has an extractor fan
Yellow instead of blue flames from gas appliances
To be safe, you should never use ovens or gas ranges to heat your home
Never use oversized pots on your gas stove, or place foil around the burners
Make sure rooms are well-ventilated and do not block air vents

References: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health and http://www.gov.uk

Arranging Oxygen in Multiple Countries Abroad

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Although the process of flying abroad with oxygen is getting easier, it is still another hassle on top of organising travel insurance, flights or boat trips, accommodation, transport and having to check with doctors and individual companies involved in your travel plans to ensure that you’ve done everything you need to. And that’s just when you’re travelling to one country.

If you want to visit more than one country it can be an additional hassle. As it is you can arrange your oxygen via the British Consulate in the country that you’re visiting, which would mean not only talking to additional parties but making multiple conversations to enquire, check and confirm with each one in each country that you are visiting. This is not only highly time consuming but opens up the possibility of something going wrong on a stint of your journey and making it difficult to rectify. Many travellers have also experienced language barriers and difficulties in explaining medical terminology making it a frustrating experience. In some countries you are required to visit a doctor in that country before you are allowed to be prescribed oxygen and you may have to wait days or weeks before receiving it.

The other option is to use a private company to supply your oxygen abroad. There are a few companies that offer oxygen across multiple countries or are global. This obviously incurs an additional cost, however it means that you would have to only communicate with one company and they just need to know travel arrangements are what your oxygen requirements are. Private companies are more able to respond quickly in an emergency, have back-up services available and be able to reach more remote locations, quickly. They sometimes operate on a 24hr basis, handy when considering time-differences in some countries.

Sonya Pettigrew is a parent who has experienced all sorts of problems with travelling abroad with oxygen says ‘I found Oxygen Worldwide a…reliable company that were willing to deliver cylinders wherever we wanted, even to our camp-site!’ and uses them regularly. They hold your details ready for your next holiday and most of all will remove a huge weight from your shoulders by reducing the worry and hassle aspect of organising your holiday abroad. They have over 20 years of experience, competitively priced, work with multiple suppliers across multiple countries and have the ability to respond quickly in an emergency. Sometimes peace of mind over something so medically important is worth the cost of a few extra pounds.

References:  http://amazebrighton.org.uk/ and http://www.oxygenworldwide.com and http://www.blf.org.uk

How Portable Oxygen Concentrators Work

The air around you contains about 80 percent nitrogen and 20 percent oxygen. If you require the use of portable oxygen to aid with a medical problem then you require a much higher percentage level of oxygen which can be delivered straight to your lungs by portable/at home devices. One such device is an oxygen concentrator.

How They Work:
Your oxygen concentrator takes in air from the surroundings and splits the oxygen from the nitrogen. It then releases the nitrogen back into the surrounding air. The concentrator collects and stores the oxygen and then dispenses it back to the patient.
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As long as you have it running and set properly, your oxygen concentrator is continually “making” 90 – 95 percent pure oxygen out of normal air, so you’ll have all you need.
Oxygen tanks are already pre-filled with oxygen and have to be re-filled whereas concentrators can make oxygen as it goes. Tanks also run the risk of leakage, which can cause explosions/fires and are heavier and more difficult to move around with.

Concentrators do not pose any danger and the other main benefit is mobility. Most of the concentrators are portable, which means they’re designed to be used at home, on the go and even on a plane, therefore you’ll always have all the oxygen you need, no matter where you are.
Concentrators also have the option of pulse-dose or continuous administration. Pulse-dose is a newer oxygen therapy technology that delivers oxygen through your cannula only when you breathe in. Continuous flow oxygen is constantly flowing through the tubes.

You should talk to your doctor about which dosing method is right for you. Pulse-dose technology can be delivered in a smaller size and will allow for longer battery life. Alternatively, most patients who require oxygen for sleep, use a continuous flow dosage due to shallow night breathing. Sometimes it’s necessary to use continuous flow oxygen while you sleep and pulse-dose oxygen during the daytime.

Reference: http://www.oxygenconcentratorstore.com

COPD: The chronic misery of breathing

Almost always caused by tobacco smoking, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease kills so many people per year. Treatments can’t reverse the symptoms but can halt deterioration.

travelling with medical oxygen

Some patients say they live with a constant feeling that they are breathing underwater, as if they were always drowning; others describe their breathlessness (even at rest), frequent coughing and never being able to exhale all the stale air in their lungs. 

It is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which used to be known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but these are only the symptoms and description of changes in the lungs. Emphysema was identified as early as the late 17th century.

In the majority of cases, you yourself have to smoke to get COPD; much less often, victims are non-smokers exposed passively to another’s smoke. 

Tobacco is almost the sole cause of COPD in the developed world; a much less common cause is intense and prolonged occupational exposure to workplace dusts, chemicals and fumes; in the Third World, the chronic disease can also result from indoor air pollution in the form of poorly ventilated cooking fires, often fueled by coal or biomass fuels such as wood and animal dung (making women the more common victims). 

Of those who smoke, about a fifth will get COPD, but among those who have puffed away for decades, about half will develop it, and the disease will kill many of them. In many developed countries such as the US and the UK, between 80 percent to 95% of COPD patients are either current smokers or previously smoked. There is no cure, but kicking the dirty habit can slow the progression and maybe even improve the situation a bit but can’t cure it; there are medications that can also ease the symptoms, thus early detection is important.

Respiratory rehabilitation and surgery to remove non-functioning lung tissue can also help. Lung transplants can eliminate the problem, but only a few donor organs are available.

Most of the sufferers are over the age of 55, and a majority are male, but due to their smoking habits, women are quickly catching up. By 2020, it is expected that COPD will be the third most common cause of death in the world and the fifth in engendering disability. This trend is ironic, as the prevalence of heart disease, which is also related to smoking, is decreasing. It takes years of exposure to tobacco to produced COPD.

The airways and air sacs are elastic, so when you inhale, each air sac fills up with air like a little balloon.

When you exhale, these sacs deflate and the air exits. But in COPD, less air flows out because the airways and air sacs lose their elastic quality; the walls between many of the air sacs are destroyed; the airway walls become thick and inflamed; and the airways are clogged with mucus.

ALL COPD patients have both chronic bronchitis and emphysema; some have more of one than the other. The first involves a persistent cough, significant amounts of mucus, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort.

Many patients require oxygen therapy at least 16 hours – and sometimes 24 hours – a day. Most patients have oxygen concentrators (machines that extract oxygen from air) at home. 

This does not cure but can help COPD sufferers every day when it comes to breathing to help make it less of a misery.