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Getting started with
home oxygen therapy

Do not hesitate to contact us for any assistance or advice on our products and services.

VitalAire can help you get started with home oxygen therapy, whether you live at home or at a long term care facility. We have a 24/7 helpline and are always here to support you.

How is oxygen in my blood measured?

Your primary healthcare provider will confirm if you have low oxygen levels in your blood by testing:

  • Arterial blood gas: A small amount of blood is taken from an artery (usually in the wrist) to measure the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. This test is very accurate and is usually required to determine if you need home oxygen therapy.
  • Pulse oximetry: A device on your finger estimates the oxygen levels in your blood. This simple test is non-invasive and pain-free and is usually performed to record your oxygen levels in real-time, on the spot.

Understanding your prescription

Your primary healthcare provider will prescribe home oxygen therapy based on your needs. Your oxygen therapy prescription has three main parts:

  • Flow rate is the quantity of 'extra’ oxygen you should be given per minute. Your doctor may want your flow rate to remain constant, or to change for different activities such as when you’re sleeping, or active in the daytime. Your flow rate is shown in litres per minute (LPM)
  • Duration of use refers to the number of hours per day oxygen therapy should be used. Typically, 16 - 24 hours of use per day is required to be effective
  • The recommended type of oxygen equipment which will be provided by your home oxygen therapist based on what products suit your lifestyle, and available funding

We can assist you with a variety of home oxygen systems.

How does home oxygen therapy work?

Three main types of oxygen equipment are available to you:

Oxygen concentrators are devices that filter room air and deliver a high concentration of oxygen for you to breathe. Portable concentrators operate the same way as stationary ones but they run on batteries as opposed to electricity. Oxygen tanks contain oxygen under high pressure which is released as you need it.

Whatever system you use, the oxygen is typically delivered to your nose through soft plastic tubes (cannulas). Stationary oxygen concentrators have a flexible extension tube that lets you move around a room while remaining connected to the oxygen supply. This feature is useful during the day at home.  

How do I order oxygen?

VitalAire will work with you to set up your home oxygen needs wherever you are, whether still at the hospital waiting to be discharged – if this is where the need arose – or at home:

  • We coordinate all the arrangements with your doctor and with the government’s home oxygen program
  • We can supply oxygen for your trip home from the hospital, and make sure everything is set up for you when you arrive at your residence
  • Once at home, we will show you and your family how to easily and safely use the equipment, and will continue to be available to answer all your questions

Our goal is to take the worry away and leave you feeling confident with home oxygen therapy.

Day or night - we are always just a phone call away should you have any questions or concerns.

Will you support me at a long term care facility or nursing home?

VitalAire will provide comprehensive oxygen therapy products and services - whether you live at home or at a long term care facility. Our respiratory therapists will come by and educate you and your caregivers on using the oxygen equipment properly, to ensure you are feeling confident and educated about your equipment.

You can call our customer service team 24/7

Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions.
If you require any assistance or advice on any of the products and services we provide,  or if you are unsure what your requirements are, please contact us and we will be happy to help. 

AB: 1 800-252-9384
BC: 1 800-637-0202
MB: 1 800-252-9384
ON: 1 800-567-0202
PE: 1 877-362-2473
NB: 1 877-362-2473
NL: 1 800-563-2698
NS: 1 800-361-5939
QC: 1 800-465-1539
SK: 1 800-252-9384

Am I eligible for home oxygen funding?

Provincial funding

Medical criteria established by your provincial home oxygen program determines if you are eligible for government funding, and it differs from province to province. We will help you find out if you are eligible, and ensure that you have the necessary documentation.

Private pay through insurance

If you have private medical insurance you may be partially or fully covered for home oxygen therapy, even when you do not medically qualify for government funding.

We recommend you or someone in your family to contact your insurance company and ask about oxygen therapy coverage. If you are covered, we will provide you with a quote which you will send to your insurance company for review.

We do not direct-bill insurance companies but we will assist you and answer all your questions to ensure you feel confident about claiming your oxygen therapy costs.

Federal government funding

Additional home oxygen therapy funding is available through the department of Veterans Affairs and the NIHB program, if you qualify. We can help you coordinate your funding. Please contact us to find out more, or read more about home oxygen funding here.

How do I use oxygen therapy in my daily life?

Using your oxygen therapy will help you continue doing the everyday things you enjoy.

Integrating oxygen therapy into your daily routine will not only improve your quality of life but will potentially prolong it. You may at first feel self-conscious about using it in public but you will soon appreciate its benefits.

We offer many oxygen systems including portable oxygen concentrators that are small and lightweight. These discrete concentrators will help you gain confidence when going out.

You’ll soon learn to adapt to your oxygen equipment in your home, and if you have a portable unit, you’ll be able to leave the house with it.

Begin with a short trip and build up to longer periods as you become more comfortable with your equipment.

Why choose us

  • 01

    Knowledgeable

    We follow the most current studies & procedures, and will educate you throughout your oxygen therapy journey

  • 02

    Clinical leaders

    We offer the best clinical expertise in the country, so you can fully benefit from a clinical home oxygen experience

  • 03

    There for you

    Our therapists, drivers and support teams genuinely care about your health and well-being and will help build your confidence throughout your journey

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