Frequently Asked Questions
Who Needs Oxygen Therapy?
Sometimes certain medical conditions can prevent the right amount of oxygen from entering your bloodstream.
Your blood oxygen level is referred to as your oxygen saturation level (Sa02) and when it is too low, it can lead to symptoms such as difficulty breathing, lack of energy, dizziness and trouble concentrating. The additional oxygen from oxygen therapy can help increase blood oxygen levels which can allow you to stay more active and healthy.
Those who may benefit the most from oxygen therapy include patients with chronic bronchitis, emphysema and heart conditions.
|Chronic bronchitis||Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air in and out of your lungs. This inflammation will lead to reduced airflow, mucus production, coughing and shortness of breath.|
|Emphysema||Emphysema is present when the air sacs (alveoli) in your lungs lose their elasticity and collapse, preventing oxygen and carbon dioxide from moving in and out of the lungs and into your bloodstream properly.|
|Heart conditions||Heart conditions may interrupt the heart’s ability to properly pump blood to and from your lungs. This can result in less oxygen reaching your bloodstream, and from there to your organs and tissues.|
Oxygen is fundamental to your health. If you have COPD, even if you don't feel symptoms, your muscles and organs — including your heart, brain and kidneys — may not be getting enough oxygen and can become damaged as a result. If your condition worsens it can become more and more difficult to enjoy simple daily activities.
Home oxygen therapy can be prescribed by your healthcare provider to help you regain your independence and get back to your daily activities.
How Does Home Oxygen Therapy Work?
What equipment do you offer?
VitalAire offers a variety of oxygen therapy equipment to suit your lifestyle and therapy needs. There are three main types of oxygen delivery systems; oxygen cylinders, stationary and portable concentrators. 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 which allow you to be more mobile. 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 tube called a cannula.
I have a prescription, now what?
As part of your treatment plan, your doctor may prescribe home oxygen therapy. Once you have your referral, contact us so we can beginning the process of setting you up. Whether you are already at home or waiting to be discharged from the hospital, our team of clinical experts will support you through the entire process. 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 and once at home, we will show you and your family how to easily and safely use the equipment. We are here for you 24/7 so you can feel confident with home oxygen therapy.
Does VitalAire Offer Long Term Care or Nursing Home Support?
Yes - VitalAire delivers to and supports many long term care and nursing home residents throughout Canada. Our respiratory therapists will work with you and your caregivers to ensure proper oxygen equipment education and safety training so can you feel confident with your setup.
Provincial funding; each province has its own set of medical criteria that will determine if you are eligible for home oxygen funding. Your VitalAire clinician can help you find out if you qualify, and ensure that you have all the necessary documentation needed to apply.
Private pay through insurance; if you have private medical insurance you may be partially or fully covered for home oxygen therapy. We recommend you or someone in your family to contact your insurance company and ask about coverage. If you are covered, we will provide you with a quote which you can then send to your insurance company for review.
Federal 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.