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COPD equiptment issues

I was diagnosed just over 3 yrs. ago with COPD, put on oxygen right away. Over the last three years I have had 3 regulators fail. Yes, FAIL!
Thankfully the first two were at home and since I have always had two I was ok till I got a replacement. However this last time yesterday, see story was scary to say the least.
10-25 …..I was going to a hotel to reserve a room for a friend. I picked up the small tank in the sleeve (red band) to check the oxygen level,, it was totally empty!! Strange as when I used it just the prior day I put a full tank in as there was just a small amount in the one I replaced. Anyway I put a new tank in and checked it. It registered full so I set it on conserve and went to truck. Put the tank in the passenger seat as always, and went to the hotel which is less than 15 min away. All this time it was on conserve 5 LPM. Checked it as I was about to go into hotel only to find it also was totally empty. ??? Lucky for me I also had my cart with two tanks (yellow band) on it. It was in the back seat so I was able to get it out and go into hotel and then put it in the front seat going back home as the tubing was not long enough to reach me in the front seat. Lost two tank-fulls of oxygen. The regulator on the small tank went bad … BUT when I got home I had to park in driveway, taking several minutes to remove tubing from nose, walk around truck, open door get tubing, and tanks out. Even though that in it’s self does not sound like a long time but when you need oxygen and can’t get it RIGHT now it seems longer than it really is…Then I put the tanks back in the back seat area and;
Solution was to remove existing tubing, add about 10 ft to the tank and put it back in the backseat. Added 2 swivels, 2 “y” connectors and 2 straight connectors.
I have to think, what would have happened if I did not have the other tanks with me?
Has anyone else had issues with their regulators?

  1. Hey Tom,
    I've had that same issue of empty tanks ...
    I first check for the protective wrap around the valve make sure it has a magic marker line on it.
    To show its filled...
    Now, about the loosing Oxygen ... Best check your regulator " Gasket Ring " the little blue ring that goes between bottle and regulator...if it's worn ,the tank will leak down fast , because it's next in line to the regulator then the cannulas ...
    I now use a Dynaris Apogee is the newest breathing device that gives 100% of the tank oxygen to either nostril...
    Look them up ...

    1. Hey, thanks for the info. That would work for me if I was to be stationary however walking requires a continuous flow of min 6 lpm. Even at 6 I can go only so far then stop to catch up so to speak.
      Gasket ring, yep I checked it and it was fine..It is going to remain one of those "unsolved mysteries" that will be, thankfully forgotten.

      I appreciate this site because of all the great folks that provide the input to help others...

    2. Thanks for your kind words, Tom.
      You know that we also appreciate having you here as part of our online community.
      Wishing you well,
      Leon (site moderator

  2. I am hoping someone can give me some tips on how to manage my portable oxygen when wearing a mask and trying to prevent the cannula from slipping out of my nose! It’s so frustrating having to remove my mask in order to replace the cannula - I don’t feel very protected!! I appreciate any help with this!

    1. Hi olderbrit, and thanks for your post. - you've posed an excellent question! From my experience, most patients I've worked with, use the cannula in the manner in which it was designed to be used by the manufacturer. That is, the two prongs positioned in one's nose, and then the tubing looped over each ear and brought together and adjusted under one's chin. Then, the mask goes on. Care should be used as the mask's straps and the oxygen tubing both loop over one's ears and, sometimes they can become tangled.
      Alternatively, some patients take the cannula tubing and, instead of looping them over their ears, the tubing is brought behind one's head and then adjusted with the sliding tightener. This method keeps the mask straps and the cannula tubing from becoming intertwined behind the ears.
      What do you think?
      Leon (site moderator

  3. Hi ! I can't imagine how scary that must have been. I did have a regulator that I had to replace the 0-ring all of the time. They finally replaced it after I complained enough. Thank you for sharing! Best, Jackie (Moderator)

    1. I soooooooooo appreciate being in touch with my COPD "community"; I'm on #3 concentrator at home and INogen when away from home. I can highly recommend both. Apria is my provider through Kaiser and they have been great. I DO need help about what to do if you (I) get bronchititis and wheeze so loudly I cannot sleep. Any ideas/experience? Thanks-giving for you help. blessings.

      1. Hi Mary, and thanks for your post, I see my colleague, , has already responded to your post and provided links to several articles on the very topics for which you have concerns.
        I have a thought to share with you as well. If you find that you are wheezing (as you said, loud enough at night to keep you from sleeping), it may be that your medication regimen requires some 'tweaking' by the physician. Alternatively, if you are on bronchodilator therapy, you may want to check your schedule and see if you can take the medication closer to bedtime. This may help to alleviate some of the wheezing. What do you think?
        Have you had an opportunity to discuss this with your physician as yet?
        Like you, we are glad that YOU found our community - please know, you are always welcome here!
        All the best,
        Leon (site moderator

      2. thanks for the info; I'll follow up! Happy Thanksgiving!

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