Monthly Archives: August 2014

Traveling With an Oxygen Concentrator

respironics-EverFlo-1020000-respshopTraveling with an oxygen concentrator brings a unique set of concerns, issues and problems for oxygen therapy patients. Before taking an oxygen concentrator on the road, patients should prepare adequately so that they can cope with the challenges associated with transporting these devices. Below are a few general tips which apply to most instances, including traveling on an airplane.

General Tips

1. Be Aware of Your Battery Power – Throughout your travels, it’s vital to check the power status of your battery (or batteries). This is a particularly important task for those planning a trip in which they will not have continuous access to a power outlet (such as a camping trip). Before you take off, charge your battery to its full capacity and try to maintain awareness of its power status throughout the entire time you’re away. Such awareness will benefit you in many ways, especially in the event of an emergency or power outage.

2. Power Compatibility – Even for patients who intend to remain in the United States, it is advisable that patients be aware of the power compatibility of their POC. Before leaving home, determine whether your POC can be charged with domestic power sockets, international sockets, cigarette-style sockets — such as those commonly found in cars and other motor vehicles — and so forth.

3. Prepare for the Additional Weight – Though portable oxygen concentrators typically are light in weight (most do not exceed 10 pounds), patients should prepare for the extra pounds of the POC before they embark on their journey. Light packers will have to adjust their routine; patients who expect to do a lot of walking with their luggage need to be ready for the additional burden that the POC will involve. If you use a portable cart, be sure to allocate space for that wherever you’ll be traveling.

Top Portable Oxygen Concentrators

If you’re in need of a portable oxygen concentrator, respshop.com has a variety of high quality machines to choose from. Here’s a rundown of some of our most popular POCs.

The SeQual Eclipse 3 with autoSAT is a versatile, convenient, skillfully constructed portable oxygen concentrator which boasts eye-catching features and advanced technology. The key feature of the Eclipse 3 is autoSAT – autoSAT enables patients to adjust their respiratory rate as it fluctuates during therapy. The Eclipse 3 is lightweight, efficient and includes a suite of accessories which make it particularly travel friendly – for instance, this POC comes with both AC and DC power cords, a carrying bag, and a pull cart.

The SimplyGo Travel Oxygen Concentrator is another popular POC which is especially convenient for patients who find themselves frequently on the go. The SimplyGo POC is lightweight – it weighs just 10 pounds – and includes a handy travel bag and mobile cart. What’s more, the SimplyGo has 3 distinct operational modes – continuous, pulse and sleep – which enable patients to customize their experience and obtain better results.

Finally, the EverGo Oxygen Concentrator System is likewise very well suited for frequent travelers. The EverGo POC is FAA approved so patients can carry it along during air travel. What’s more, the EverGo comes with both AC and DC power compatibility so patients traveling abroad will be able to recharge their device without hassle. Users will also appreciate the battery capacity of the EverGo POC – the EverGo comes with two rechargeable batteries which last longer than any other batteries on the POC market. This POC also possesses a user friendly touchscreen menu which makes keeping track of your status exceptionally simple.

Don’t Ignore Sleep Apnea

reggie_white-respshopIt could never happen to me. Never.

That’s the sentiment endemic to our culture. Terrible things happen all of the time. Other people lose their loved ones in automobile accidents on idle Wednesdays. But not me. Not today.

That’s probably how Sara White felt.

Sara White is now the widow of NFL legend Reggie White, a man who once seemed larger than life. The all-time NFL sacks leader at the time of his retirement in 2000, White was dubbed the “minister of defense” and was widely viewed as one of the greatest players of all time. But he had obstructive sleep apnea and it contributed to his death.

He was 43.

Since that time, Sara White has worked tirelessly to help get screenings to men, women, and children. She speaks to the public about the risks of the disorder, spreading awareness. She has started a non-profit research and education foundation in the name of her late husband, who was diagnosed with sleep apnea in 1987. Sleep disorders are a serious problem, and it’s something that is overlooked all too often. Too many people look at them and say, “that won’t happen to me” or “it’s not like it’s going to kill me.”

That’s what happened to the Whites. Sara White has talked about her late husband’s snoring episodes. She remembers elbowing him during these fits, even stating how she accepted the snoring. This is problematic, because too many people aren’t recognizing this disorder and the risk of snoring. Either there isn’t anybody in the home to be disturbed by the snoring, or it’s accepted as an oddly endearing quirk. Whatever the case is, it is an undertreated ailment, one that is almost treated like a punchline far too often.

Raising awareness is critical for amending sleep disorders. That’s why Sara White has been attaching her late husband’s name on various enterprises. Most of the time, the victims of sleep disorders don’t get their stories played out on cable news programs and national newspapers. But the death of Reggie White began to shift the narrative, and has linked his Hall of Fame career with the disorder forever, giving it a face.

Sleep apnea can be fatal. And it’s a sign that there are usually other underlying health problems. Research links cardiovascular problems with snoring. Patients usually have high blood pressure, some may not exercise and diet properly, and many patients smoke. There’s a pattern of unhealthy lifestyle choices coinciding with an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis. Changing these habits can have a significant effect on your sleep apnea, perhaps even curing the disorder.

There are also some misunderstandings regarding the disorder. A lot of people are under the impression that this is a male dominated demographic, particularly large, inactive and unfit men. This is not necessarily the case. First of all, world class athletes like Reggie White can fall victim to the disorder. Secondly, women are often victimized by being misdiagnosed for a number of reasons, and it is estimated that for every 2-3 men with the disorder, there is at least one female with sleep apnea.

A big reason women aren’t getting diagnosed as often as their male counterparts is speculated to be part stereotyping from the physician, but also the fact that there are a number of symptoms that aren’t being correctly linked with the disorder. These are things like insomnia, depression, and restless legs, just to name a few. It is important to talk to your doctor about these things, and explore all of the possibilities. Awareness is key, and the more aware we are of this disorder and its under-representation, the more progress we can make in tempering it.

New AirSense CPAP Machines from ResMed

resmed-airsense-10-autoset-cpap-respshopResMed is one of the titans of the CPAP industry, and the Australian giant recently released its latest line of machines: the AirSense series. There are four different AirSense machines, including two manual and two automatic machines. Each machine comes with a new data storage and management system, an innovative ramp feature, top notch humidification, as well as EPR and all of the event detection software that has made ResMed a reliable manufacturer of CPAP equipment for years. Let’s talk a little bit more about these features and what distinguishes these machines from each other.

One of the highlights for all four devices is the AirView data management system. ResMed overhauled their data tracking by making data saving and access easier from a patient’s perspective. AirView allows patients to save all of their sleep statistics – include leak rate, breath metrics, and more – to the cloud, allowing their physicians and CPAP technicians to view their information remotely. This means that a patient can simply upload their information online, and get advice and help without needing to leave their home. For patients who are uncomfortable sharing this information, or who do not want to store their data, the feature can be turned off by switching the machine into airplane mode.

Each AirSense also comes with a new ramp feature. The ramp remains but each machine can be programmed to delay the onset of the ramp for 0-45 minutes. This allows a patient to fall asleep naturally without any pressure from the machine. Once the ramp starts, it works like past models, gradually increasing pressure until you reach your prescribed pressure level.

All four machines also come with ResMed’s intelligent screen, easy controls, expiratory pressure relief, SmartStart/SmartStop, and a mask fitting feature.

The basic machine in the line is the AirSense 10 CPAP. This is a manual, fixed pressure machine that features EPR, which is capable of detecting respiratory abnormalities and drops pressure at the onset of each breath.

The AirSense 10 Elite is similar to the AirSense 10 CPAP: it too is a manual machine, but it offers slightly enhanced event detection software. Specifically, it can detect central sleep apneas as well as when you have a Cheyne-Stokes respiration event.

ResMed also included two automatic pressure machines in the AirSense line. The AirSense 10 Auto boasts all of the features found in the CPAP and Elite while also automatically adjusting pressure based on your needs and changing environmental conditions.

Finally, the AutoSense 10 For Her is the first machine ever designed specifically for female patients. Women experience apneas slightly differently than men, and the For Her algorithm takes this into account, adjusting pressure sooner and by slightly smaller amounts. This celerity allows the For Her to fight apneas quickly and effectively, allowing women to get the most out of their therapy.

Best Oxygen Concentrators and Supplies

respironics-EverFlo-1020000-respshopAt RespShop, we now carry home and portable oxygen concentrators, as well as supplies for both systems. We know that reliability and independence are huge factors for oxygen patients when they look for supplies for their therapy, and we want to do everything we can to help them feel satisfied and secure in what we carry. To help achieve that ambition, we’ve laid out the basics on everything we carry below as well as our plans for the future as far as oxygen concentration is concerned.

Home Oxygen Concentrators

All of the home oxygen concentrators that we carry are designed to reliably provide consistent levels of oxygen to patients. Home concentrators help take ambient air, concentrate it in the unit, and then deliver it to you through a cannula. These concentrators are ideal for patients who are more stationary and need a reliable stream of oxygen for long periods of time. They are easy to use, hassle free, and intuitive to set up and use.

We carry three home concentrators at the moment: one each from market leaders Respironics, AirSep, and Easy Flow. The Easy Flow 5 is a top of the line machine built to handle a wide range of temperatures and altitudes. Respironics’s EverFlow concentrator is one of the quieter home concentrators around, with a sound level of just forty dBA. Finally, the AirSep VisionAire 5 Oxygen Concentrator is the latest and best designed device from the leading oxygen therapy manufacturer.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators

As the name implies, portable oxygen concentrators are built for oxygen therapy patients who remain fit and active. These devices work similarly to the home oxygen concentrators, but they tend to be lighter and significantly more mobile. Some portable oxygen concentrators are small enough to be placed in a pack while others can be attached to a rolling case. These devices are always lightweight and can be pulled easily around your home or through town.

With nine portable oxygen concentrators, we carry too many to profile all of them here. Our most popular portable model is the SimplyGo Concentrator from Respironics. The SimplyGo weighs less than ten pounds, making it one of the lightest devices of its kind in the world. It comes with high-powered lithium batteries that can carry a charge for several hours. Like all of our portable oxygen systems, the SimplyGo comes with a convenient carrying case.

Power and Accessory Supplies

In addition to the portable and home concentrators we have in stock, we also carry all of the supplies and power options you could ever need for your device. We carry battery chargers, rechargeable batteries, AC power cords, DC power supplies, power adapters, and micro batteries. We also have an array of carrying options for your portable machines. We have two different wheeled carts as well as a handful of packs that can store your oxygen machine and its supplies.

The bottom line is that RespShop is the place to go for all of your oxygen needs. We have the products you need and the expertise to help you get your machine running the way you need it. If you have any questions about our machines or anything else, feel free to reach out to us on the blog, on Twitter, at our email (sales@respshop.com) or over the phone at 866-936-375

Using the Ramp on Your CPAP

36015-ResMed-S9-Autoset-with-Humidifier-1 (2)One of the most convenient settings on the CPAP machines we sell here at RespShop is the ramp feature. Ramp technology comes standard with just about all of our CPAP and bi-level machines and allows patients to start their sleep apnea therapy on a low pressure setting, and have the machine automatically and incrementally raise the pressure until it reaches their desired level.

The ramp feature is useful for patients who have a difficult time falling asleep immediately, particularly those with high pressure settings. For many people, immediately adjusting from breathing normally to breathing with a relatively high-pressured mask is difficult, and the ramp allows them to ease into their therapy.

On most machines, particularly those made within the last few years, the ramp setting is fairly standard across manufacturers. The ramp’s starting pressure starts at the bottom of your machine’s pressure range, which is typically 4 cm H20, and increase from there. Most CPAP machines will have a pressure range of 4-20 cm H20. Bi-level devices will have a wider spectrum, but ramp will function the same no matter what your range is.

From there, you can program the ramp to incrementally raise pressure to your desired settings. Most machines will allow you to determine how long you want to delay raising pressure; you can generally choose anything from five to forty-five minutes. From there, your pressure will increase by one or two centimeters of pressure every five minutes until you reach your desired setting.

Setting the ramp on your machine is pretty easy, and we’ll walk you through how to do it on a couple of our most popular machines:

For the DeVilbiss intelliPAP series, press the button marked ‘Delay’ to start the ramp. To adjust the length of the delay, toggle through the left and right scroll bars above the power and delay buttons until you see the ‘Delay Time’ setting. Here, you can adjust the length of your delay.

For ResMed S9 series machines, navigate to the front screen. Then, twist your dial to the right, until you’re highlighting the green triangle. Click the dial until the green triangle has an orange background. Then, moving the dial left or right, adjust the delay on the ramp. You can set the delay for ‘0’ for no ramp all the way up to 45 minutes. Click it again when you’ve reached the desired pressure.

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to find the ramp feature and set it quickly. If you have questions about your particular machine, or if you want help setting up your ramp, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Send us an email at sales@respshop.com or give us a call at 1-866-936-3754.

CPAP Ramp Feature