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COPD is a progressive disease characterized by airflow obstruction or limitation. Emphysema is characterized by loss of elasticity of the lung tissue, destruction of structures supporting the alveoli and of capillaries feeding the alveoli. Both have symptoms that include shortness of breath, among other respiratory troubles. If you are a COPD or Emphysema sufferer, join the group and find support.

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Liquid Oxygen vs Gas oxygen

Morning - can anyone explain the difference between liquid and gas oxygen> I do know that liquid oxygen is more expensive - but do not understand what the difference is - does liquid oxygen come in smaller portable tanks?

my thanks to all for the help (and great advise)you have all given me.

I've had emphysema for many years but because I was functioning (after my lung volume) - I never thought of all the questions I have about oxygen - also, can anyone improve to the point of not needing oxygen?



Hey Reo!
Thinking about going out in public? G-R-E-A-T!! I'm so proud of you!
I cannot speak to much to your question but I can tell you about the liquid O2 stuff.

My Mom has had 3 types of portables: the small green O2 tanks I had to pull around for her :( , a smaller type that refilled from her concentrator, that she wore over her shoulder,or I carried :( :( , which was ok, and this newer liquid O2 "Helios". Boy, I like the Helios.
She has a thing that looks like a fanny pack she wears around her waist :) . It only weighs about 6 pounds. It's great. I guess you could throw it over your shoulder, I just never asked.

You use 2LPM when you are on the go? It would probably last you 4-5 hours on a full tank (which only takes about 30 seconds to fill from the big tank. Mom is on 3 LPM all the time (on her back, or on the go) and her big tank is picked up once a week, every 5 days when we fill the portable twice. She's on Medicare, has unlimited refills and they charge Medicare $640 a month ($500 for big tank & $140 for the portable). I take a big gulp every time I see that bill come in, for sure! Thank God for Medicare! Of course, the price varies depending on where you live. More people will make comments on your other issues later on today, I bet. Hugs, Laurie

Good Morning Reo,
There are 3 types of Oxygen therapy

1. Compressed 02 (gas in cylinders) furnished in different sizes by your supplier. You cannot refill them yourself.

2. Liquid Oxygen requires a central unit to refill portables. You can refill your portable units from the central unit. The central unit in your home is refilled by your supplier.

3. Concentrators are electrically operated and extracts air from the room separates the 02 from other gases present and delivers 02 to you by the usual cannula system. The portables for these are various and work by battery.

At this point, I believe that the concentrator systems are the only personal 02 systems allowed on aircraft for travel. Otherwise the airlines will provide(for a fee) the 02 required to travel.

About getting off oxygen. My blood oxygen saturation stays above 90% at about 95% and I use 02 only at night. My doctor told me that your breathing dips at night and the 02 also aids your lungs (kinda like giving you lungs a little rest when you sleep).

There are other people on here that have more info than I so malybe they will add to your questions.

Have a restful day,

Personally, I like the Portable oxygen compressor units. If the battery runs low I can recharge via a car adaptor or electric outlet and don't have to have any big tanks or units. My unit weighs about 8 lbs. has a shoulder strap and a hand cart - my choice on which I wish to use. The only problem is most of them are activated only by your breath instead of just a free flow. Nice thing is if it doesn't register a breath in a minute a alarm rings.
Airline no longer provide O2- you have to rent a unit from a supplier. After looking at the costs and co-pays and since I travel so much, I bought my own unit. It has 5 batteries and at 4 liters runs for about 8-9 hrs using all the batteries. I just used it on a trip to Hawaii and even used it at night ( plugged in) instead of the hassle of finding a supplier and renting a large compressor for the night time.

Pearl...great explanation....*smiles*

Hi Roe...(hugs)...I have been told so many times that I would never be able to be without my O2 again...However, there are days when my levels seem to stabilize where I can comfortably be without it....I always use it at night for the reasons already shared....Going out...Well I always have it with me and usually do feel a need to use it because upon activity my sats. drop and I get very SOB.....I truly think that one can tell when they need it and when they can go without....I become disorientated, confused and my children say my speech becomes slurred....I always feel it in my eyes strange but true....The kids say and I feel drunk when my levels get low....Lets face it we all want to experiment and try different things....You will come to know when you do and do not need the O2.....Great question....

Love and Blessings, Serenity

There are still airlines that provide supplemental 02 inflight for passengers with lung disease. It does take planning and there are restrictions but it is doable. This link will give you most of the initial info that you will need.

A few months ago I flew and used a concentrator. Airlines do not provide O2 but airports do allow O2 suppliers access to planes for travelers in need of O2. The suppliers set it up and will tutor the traveler in use of the equipment. The supplier will also have O2 waiting upon you arrival at a different airport if that is your need.

Just in case you would like to check what the regs are for specific airlines, the link below is provided. I may be misunderstanding the requirements but it is there for each to determine if you are considering flying again.

Thanks all.

Thank you Anna for that very useful link! I may reconsider flying someday. Hugs, Sue

I use liquid oxygen and like it much better than the compressed. The to go units you fill are lighter than the compressed units and overall the ease of handling and savings of the cost of electricity is so worth for myself anyway. I love it and would not in anyway want to go back to compressed.

Getting off oxygen depends on many things. You mentioned you had (after my lung volume), are you referencing lung volume reduction? Did you just recently have an exacerbation and have to have oxygen? Many time people have a short set back and do get off oxygen. A daily routine of exercise is very important also.

I wish you the very best in gettin off of it, I know after my surgery it was a relief to be off of it during the day.

Thanks for the site Anna. When I recently talked with a couple of airlines in the US I had hit snags, most aren't still aware of the regs that came into effect this May. Another good site is
This is a great piece of paper to also have with you when you fly in case you get stuck with a non-informed airline rep.
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