• Posted by frank-marzetta on March 9, 2023 at 2:05 pm

    My Dr. wants me on 2L continuous oxygen all the time.  If I exert myself, like going to the grocery store, I have to rest a few times and catch my breath, but am not using supplemental oxygen.  When I check my 02 levels they are in the low 70’s, sometimes in the 60’s.   In your experience using oxygen, does it get you to a healthy 02 level(89 or above) while exerting yourself.  I am wondering if lugging around a tank or portable oxygen concentrator will help me get to 89 or above when I exert myself or if I’ll just have the same 02 levels.

    jeffrey-carver replied 11 months, 1 week ago 26 Members · 40 Replies
  • 40 Replies
  • samuel-kirton

    Member
    March 10, 2023 at 10:36 am

    The short answer is yes it will. I would also suggest you do your research on a POC. A shoulder-carried POC will not provide continuous flow oxygen at 2lpm.

  • frank-marzetta

    Member
    March 10, 2023 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks Sam…I think most of the shoulder – carried POC’s are pulse.  Is there a big difference between pulse and continuous?  I’ve been looking at the Inogen G5. If a recommendation could be made on a shoulder – carried POC it would be appreciated.

    • samuel-kirton

      Member
      March 10, 2023 at 3:33 pm

      The pulse system provides oxygen only when you inhale while a continuous flow source such as a tank pushes oxygen without being triggered by a breath.

      If you are already at 2lpm the Inogen G5 will not provide that level of oxygen. I suggest you Google the Inogen G5 technical manual. There is a table in the manual that translates their settings to the amount of oxygen provided. If memory serves me correctly the highest setting provides an “equivalent” of 1.25 – 1.6 lpm. Those levels are consistent with over-the-shoulder carried POCs. The G5 is one of the better models on the market. I own one. It is just not adequate for your need. There are some wheeled portable concentrators but I have not used one.

       

  • frank-marzetta

    Member
    March 10, 2023 at 4:26 pm

    Perfect…Thank you!

    • jbvc2

      Member
      March 23, 2023 at 4:24 pm

      I disagree.  I believe the G5 will actually produce 1.2 L of oxygen, not the equivalent of 1.2L.  With a continuous flow of 2L most of the oxygen is wasted since you normally inhale, exhale, pause and repeat the cycle.  The G5 emits a pulse of its 1.2L as it detects you are inhaling and will also try to compensate by changing the amount of oxygen in each pulse depending on your breaths per minute.  I have used a G5 for three years.

      • golfpi

        Member
        March 23, 2023 at 5:30 pm

        The Inogen 5 produces 1.26 LPM (1,260 milliliters) max at setting 6. So, if you breathe 20 times per minute you need to divide the 1.26 LPM by 20 breathes to find out how much O2 you are actually getting per pulse. It works out to be 63 milliliters per breath and no wasted O2. Inogen 5 cannot produce 1.2 L (1,260 milliliters) for every breath you take. The sieve beds and motor are too small to do that. The sieve beds in a home concentrator are much, much bigger than the POC’s and are able to produce up to 5 LPM continuous because of the size of sieve beds and the much bigger motor. A lot of the O2 from a home continuous concentrator gets wasted. So, on a home concentrator set to 2 LPM continuous and based on 20 breaths per minute you are getting a little over 100 ml per breath with the rest of the O2 (1900 ml debatable) being wasted. A 5-pound POC O2 output is not even close to a 32-pound home concentrator output but the POC minimizes wasted O2 by using pulse. The POC needs about 18.5 watts of power (battery)to run whereas a home 5 LPM concentrator needs 350 watts of power (wall outlet) to run.

  • bill-mattila

    Member
    March 12, 2023 at 3:48 pm

    It helped me to carry the portable isn’t hard. If you want to breathe what’s the deal is. I had to talk myself into it. It’s
    Crazy your life in a machine. Think about it you need air right.

    • patsyarchibald

      Member
      March 14, 2023 at 3:16 pm

      Frank, Oxygen levels that low is dangerous if sustained for very long. It puts a strain on your heart and deprives your brain of much needed oxygen to think clearly in that moment. I carried a portable tank whenever I left the house for any task as the activity of walking had my numbers go lower than 90, which is your target number to stay above. I found that while it took some getting used to, it allowed me to remain active for longer periods. It’s been 7 years since my diagnosis and I’m doing better. I’m able to go to the grocery store without the supplemental O2 along with other activities as long as they are short in duration. I just use it at night or when I have cold/flu symptoms to help me get thru the day. Thank you for bringing this subject up and I wish you the best of health going forward.

      Patsy

  • curt-strickland

    Member
    March 14, 2023 at 2:13 pm

    When your 02 goes low like that, it puts a lot of pressure on the other organs of the body, so even though you recover relatively easily, it wears on the other organs. The oxygen will keep you healthier until you can get a lung transplant, which is what happened with me.

    Curt Strickland

  • golfpi

    Member
    March 14, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    From the sounds of your O2 dropping into the low 70’s, I don’t think a POC will support your needs during exertion. Your pulmonologist can walk you on a treadmill and easily determine your O2 needs during exertion. I use 2 LPM at rest and 8-10 with exertion during rehab. I am one of the lucky few that still has access to LOX and can carry the tank in a back pack while shopping. These O2 companies need to all get back to distributing LOX instead of the multiple E tanks. LOX costs more than E tanks and they worry more about their bottom line than people’s health. It should not be that way.

     

    • sbt19

      Member
      March 16, 2023 at 8:17 pm

      What is LOX? How does it differ from e tanks?

      • golfpi

        Member
        March 16, 2023 at 9:50 pm

        Sherry, LOX is abbreviation for liquid oxygen. It is stored in a tank in liquid form at -300 degrees. When the liquid O2 is exposed to warmer temperature it changes to a gas form so it is breathable. Liquid oxygen takes up less space than oxygen in its gas form, making it easier and lighter to carry around. A LOX portable tank will last approx. 7. 5 hours @ 2 LPM before needing refilled whereas an E-Tank will only last approx. 4.5 hours @ 2 LPM before needing refilled.

  • charlotte-smith-butler

    Member
    March 14, 2023 at 4:05 pm

     

    Absolutely!

  • frank-marzetta

    Member
    March 15, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for the replies!  I’m seeing my Dr. next week and will bring up the points all of you have made.

    • markmaron

      Member
      March 16, 2023 at 2:52 pm

      Frank, you must be on supplemental oxygen if your stats drop to 70 or 60 that is very very dangerous and an over the shoulder POC will not serve the purpose you need. You can ask your doctor to prescribe from your oxygen provider a C tank it is a small tank, it’s about 12-13 inches tall and you’ve been on 2 L of oxygen. It should last you all day if not longer definitely plan on having to use supplemental oxygen with activity. Your stats must stay above 90 and 92 is even low. Good luck to you.

      • sheila-d

        Member
        March 16, 2023 at 4:39 pm

        I have been on supplement oxygen for about 1 year at first they told me 1 while sitting and 4 when walking. I live at sea level. After 9 months i was able to not wear my oxygen while sitting or laying down. I use an oximeter and check it’s bee running 94. When i do a normal walk( slower than a year ago i have my oximeter. If i move to fast my oxygen drops below 90. A health professional told me to slow down keep moving. Do purse lip breathing. Readings between (85-89) are yellow light warnings. If i get below this i was told to stop turn up my oxygen do purse lip breathing

  • Stephen M. Winsett

    Member
    March 16, 2023 at 12:28 pm

    I have two POCs, one is 8lbs and one is 5lbs.  When I travel, especially long flights, then I use the heavier one as I have 3 batteries for that one. It is a Caire and provides pulse up to five lpm.  I am on oxygen 24/7 but never had a problem with the pulse condensers.    My home unit is continuous though.

  • jeffrey-carver

    Member
    March 16, 2023 at 2:41 pm

    What others said; you definitely would do well to have O2. Re the portable concentrators, none of them provide the flow rate of a home unit. Stephen, you mentioned the Caire unit, but it does not provide up to 5 LPM. Here’s a quote from their website:

    “With 5 settings and up to 1050mL of oxygen per minute,” which means it has an arbitrary setting of up to “5” but the maximum delivery is actually about 1 LPM pulsed. That’s about the same as all the others.

    I myself have an Inogen 5, and it’s fine for trips to the store, air travel, and so on; but when I’m exerting myself more, such as walking the dog, it doesn’t keep up with my needs and I have to deliberately pace myself. (I’m on 4 LPM at home, which is based on what I need when exerting myself. When I’m doing my daily exercises–pushups and squats, etc.–I have to allow a little recovery between sets, even on 4LPM continuous.)

    Before I got my O2, I was dropping sometimes into the 70s while dog walking–and that’s what pushed me to ask for O2. What I use now for walks is a small tank in a backpack, set to “5” pulse–which is not 5 LPM, but does seem to be better than “5” or even “6” on the Inogen. To enable that, my provider set me up with a home-fill system, so I top off my tanks at home.

     

  • meredith

    Member
    March 16, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    Hello all.
    There is no shame in needing and using oxygen. If your doctor says you need it at 2lpm, why aren’t you doing that?
    You will consistently feel better, you’ll be keeping your heart strong, and your judgement will not be impaired because of poor oxygen supply.
    With a POC you usually need one setting higher. I carry mine by hand but put it into a shopping cart when available.
    You look more sophisticated carrying a poc than you do lying in a bed wasting away. If you don’t think you need oxygen because you feel fine but your sats are in the seventies, your judgement is impaired.

    Meredith

    • frank-marzetta

      Member
      March 16, 2023 at 4:23 pm

      Hi Merideth, I wasn’t saying I didn’t need it, just was asking if the POC’s would help.  I do need it and would like to use a POC instead of a tank.  I’m pretty new to the diagnosis and trying to figure out how to take best care of myself.

  • richard-halderman

    Member
    March 16, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    My self I have small bottles that fit in a hydration back pack to use when I am out and yes it helps keep my o2 levels at 90+. I run it on 3 and it does great. At home when I sit down and rest I run at 2.5. I only use as need Which is getting moer frequent. But to answer ‘yes’ ut does help.

  • rand-obrien

    Member
    March 16, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    Folks,

    I’m needing to get on O2 bottled for exertions, like walks in the woods, etc.  I kept being frustrated with the over the shoulder gig with my Onigen5, as well as the neck wear & tear.   After having the unit get too warm in a back pack, ordered a mesh backpack from Amazon, $16, and it works like a charm.  Carrying it over the back is a lot better for da body.  Now to get set up for bottled O2.  Yikes!!

    Rand

  • golfpi

    Member
    March 16, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    There are no POC’s that can produce 5 LPM in this world, only the bigger Home concentrators can and weigh 35-40 pounds. That 5 on your unit is just a setting and does not indicate 5 LPM.

  • robert-b

    Member
    March 17, 2023 at 8:11 am

    I’ve been on liquid oxygen for 20 years. They don’t use it much anymore but I’m on 3L and do really good. I’ve slowed my pace but still play golf a couple days a week. I couldn’t do much of anything when I first starting using oxygen. My overall health improved dramatically. I was reluctant using it all the time but when I realized that I not only felt better but using it all the time helped my other organs to be healthier. I’ve tried the concentrator but it isn’t as portable. I wear a Helios 300 on a belt.

  • golfpi

    Member
    March 17, 2023 at 9:17 am

    They should bring back the liquid oxygen so everyone can benefit from it. The O2 companies should be more concerned with peoples health instead of their bottom line. I don’t see how people in charge sleep at night.

  • rthorntonbresnan-net

    Member
    March 18, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    Good afternoon everyone. Reading all these comments, you have pretty well covered everything I was going to say. The Inogen 5 is fine if you only need about 3 or 4 because the #6 is not really a #6. It is still only going to put out about 4. Wish there was a continues that was protable. I have had to go back on the  cylinder because of my breathing is getting worse. I had gotten the Inogen to get rid of the cylinders. Lately my oxi is telling me my oxygen is in the 80’s and this morning it was in the 70’s. That is scarey. Breathing is very labored at that point. I had had a night of a bloody nose. 3 straight hours of trying to get it to stop. I have heart problems, so on heart medicine plus 2 blood thinners. My home compactor is at 7 and I am on it   24/7. The cylinder I use will out walking or driving someplace and I have it at 5. Any higher and that bottle would be empty quickly.

    So, if anyone hears of a continues poc, please let us all know. I am sure there is more then just me that could use one.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  • rwilliams257

    Member
    March 18, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Frank,

    Everyone has covered the use of tanks and POC’s here, but I wanted to bring your attention to 2 very important things:

    1)  People with IPF/PF are VERY prone to lung collapse (Pneumothorax). Not using supplemental O2 and exerting with levels down in the 70’s puts tremendous strain on the lungs and could cause a lung collapse. That happened to me. I have PF and was rushing around preparing for a move (cleaning, packing, lugging boxes, etc.) without any supplemental O2, and ended up with multiple tears in my lung, a lung collapse, taken by ambulance to Emergency Room, and hospitalized for over a month!

    2) When using a POC, please be aware that most likely all of the ones currently on the market DO NOT filter out VIRUSES… Therefore, those POC’s are taking O2 directly from the surrounding air and delivering it directly into your lungs unfiltered. This completely negates the use of a mask if you are masking in public settings. A tank system however, is enclosed and is the far safer alternative to the POCs. Even though the tanks are heavy, it’s better to use them in crowded settings, such as hospitals, etc. for your safety and peace of mind.

    I hope that helps!

    • jeffrey-carver

      Member
      March 23, 2023 at 4:40 pm

      This is a very good point, and I never thought of it until you said it:

       When using a POC, please be aware that most likely all of the ones currently on the market DO NOT filter out VIRUSES… Therefore, those POC’s are taking O2 directly from the surrounding air and delivering it directly into your lungs unfiltered. This completely negates the use of a mask if you are masking in public settings. A tank system however, is enclosed and is the far safer alternative to the POCs.

      I wouldn’t say it completely negates the value of a mask, since the bolus of O2 from the POC is only a fraction of your air intake, but it certainly would reduce the value of the mask. I generally use a small tank on errands anyway, but I will be keeping this in mind.

       

  • Paul D Boccocelli

    Member
    March 23, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    I have an Imogen POC and a home based large OC that plugs into an electrical outlet. I’m happy with both but have a question.  For local trips, shopping, entertainment, etc. the Imogen is great, but I wonder about travel. It’s impractical to take the large, (40 lbs), OC to a hotel, onboard a ship, etc. So what do those of you who travel do?  The small Imogen is not designed for 24/7 operation, do you have a small lightweight OC that you use for travel? Thanks.

    • samuel-kirton

      Member
      March 23, 2023 at 2:22 pm

      Paul,

       

      Your first step might be to contact your oxygen provider. My provider was a national company in the U.S.. I could schedule trips ahead of time to have a concentrator delivered to where I was staying. Alternatively, there are companies who work to deliver oxygen equipment to cruise ships for example. While not an endorsement, one that I am familiar with is Special Needs At Sea. If you google their name it should provide their info.

    • jeffrey-carver

      Member
      March 23, 2023 at 4:30 pm

      I have used my Inogen solely for up to two weeks on a trip where I was unable to arrange for a stationary unit. I didn’t love it, but it served. On a recent 3-week trip to Puerto Rico, I just called around until I found a place that could rent me a 5LPM unit for the duration. It worked out fine. Cost a couple of hundred bucks.

  • chukegee

    Member
    March 23, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    I use and have been using supplemental oxygen for about four years now. When i go shopping i take my portable unit. I start at 2L but usually have to move it to 4 or 5 as the shopping continues. Anywhere between 2 to 3 hours. When i am back in the car to go home, i start backing it up to eventually get to my original 2L. If i didn’t take my portable unit i’d never make it. But going slow is the key. Take your time and take a little rest if need be. You’ve made it all of these years, why try to kill yourself by rushing.

  • golfpi

    Member
    March 23, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    Charles, what kind of portable unit do you have that puts out 2L, let alone 3L or 4L or is it an E tank?

    Or do you mean you put your portable on setting 2 and move it to setting 3 and setting 4.

  • karen-martin

    Member
    March 23, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    This is a little more at the other end of the spectrum since my question involves needing a much higher rate of oxygen.  I currently need 15lpm when I exert myself.  I have had people tell me that is “a LOT of oxygen.”  I suppose that it is, but it is what it takes to let me get around.  At rest I can manage on 2lpm continuous flow, but when I get up to move around, it has to be much  higher.  Does anyone else deal with this level of use?  I can’t help but wonder what happens next.  Anyone?

  • john-j-harrigan

    Member
    March 23, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Frank,

    I don’t know if this would work for you, but I got the Phillips Respironics SimplyGo POC, which has both pulse flow and continuous flow. It delivers up to 2 lpm, and it can be plugged into an electrical outlet for nighttime usage. At 10 pounds, it is heavier than the other POCs, but I found a mesh backpack for it, which makes it very easy to carry around. For me the bottom line is that it gives me mobility and the ability to get aerobic exercise while keeping my O2 levels >90. Again, I don’t know if this would be sufficient for you, since your O2 levels are dangerously low. But it’s worth asking your doctor about.

     

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    March 24, 2023 at 10:04 am

    Thanks for your comment John. I also have the Phillips Respironics SimplyGO POC and my only compliant is that it is heavy! I also had to get a backpack, which has made it a lot more manageable and its the POC that works best for me, hands down. Might be worth exploring as well @fmarzetta?

    • frank-marzetta

      Member
      March 24, 2023 at 11:47 am

      For now, I’ve decided to use smaller tanks with a backpack and get used to carrying oxygen.  Maybe I’ll graduate to a POC but want to walk before I run!

      • jeffrey-carver

        Member
        March 24, 2023 at 12:46 pm

        Frank — For me, the smaller tanks are a better solution anyway, at least if you have a home-fill system (definitely ask about that). The POC is mostly for times when I think I’ll need greater time duration than a tank allows, since it can be plugged into car 12V or home 120V.

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