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Find inspirational stories, tips from the COPD Coach, events, and current news on the COPD community blog. Have a question regarding COPD that you would like to share with our community? Contact our COPD Coach. Coaches Corner is aimed at providing information for individuals with COPD to take to your doctor, and is not in any way intended to be medical advice. If you would like to submit a question to the Coaches Corner email us at coachescorner@copdfoundation.org. We would love to hear your questions and comments.

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Articles for category All About Oxygen

The Long-Term Oxygen Treatment Trial

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The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today, announced the publication of the long awaited results from the Long-Term Oxygen Treatment Trial (LOTT) in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Long-term oxygen treatment has already been shown to improve survival and reduce hospitalizations in those with COPD and severely low levels of blood oxygen (i.e. if your saturation rate is equal to or less than 88 percent at rest). Oxygen treatment may also be prescribed if COPD patients have a “moderately low” oxygen saturation rest that falls below 90% with activity or when sleeping. Until now, there was little research that told us whether or not oxygen for this moderate group with moderately low saturation levels at rest (between 89-93 percent) and below 90 percent with activity was beneficial.

LOTT enrolled 738 people with COPD who had moderately low oxygen saturation levels at rest or during activity in a randomized clinical trial where half of the group was prescribed oxygen treatment and half was not. The study found that on average, the patients who were prescribed oxygen treatment received no additional benefit to survival, hospitalizations, worsening symptoms or to quality of life. That means that based on this study, for most COPD patients with moderately low levels of oxygen saturation, oxygen use is not beneficial. At first glance it is easy to be surprised by these results, especially as it relates to those patients who use oxygen during activity. You may fall into this group and find it hard to imagine getting on that treadmill in the morning to get in your steps without sliding on your oxygen.

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Tags: Long-term oxygen treatment trial
Categories: All About Oxygen

Improving O2 Access: We Need Your Help

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Update: The survey described below is now closed. Stay connected on COPD360social for developments on the O2 access initiative.

 We need your help with a very important study! With changes to Medicare supplemental oxygen reimbursement, it has become vital that we document the importance and clinical significance of mobility for lung impaired patients. As a consequence of competitive bidding, new reimbursements for supplemental oxygen are now dictating which oxygen devices are being made available to Medicare recipients, often restricting patients to be forced to transport large e-cylinders. The result is that patients using supplemental oxygen are experiencing severe loss of mobility impacting their quality of life and health outcomes.

supplemental O2 and COPD In basic terms: we are going back to a 1970’s model of oxygen delivery that is restricting patients to the confines of their home.

The link below is a survey that aims to document the impact of transporting large cylinders of oxygen will have on our community. To date there is no research that illustrates the obvious fact that carrying or transporting weight causes desaturation in lung impaired users. This of course might seem obvious to us, but has been largely ignored by Medicare who states they require clinical data before they can accept this actually occurs.

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Tags: access Medicare survey
Categories: All About Oxygen

PELICAN: The Peer-Led Oxygen Infoline for Patients

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About 1 million people with severe lung disease, most commonly COPD, are treated with oxygen in the U.S. Appropriate oxygen use can save lives and increase quality of life, yet adherence to therapy is poor. In focus groups conducted by the COPD Foundation, patients with COPD and their caregivers emphasized the need for reliable information and coaching on oxygen, such as availability and appropriate use of oxygen delivery systems and social aspects of oxygen use. They expressed a strong interest in getting help and education.

PELICAN Oxygen Study In April 2015, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, National Jewish Health, and LA-BioMed developed a broad-based collaboration with the COPD Foundation, AlphaNet, patients, caregivers, a national oxygen supplier, and others to conduct the PELICAN: The Peer-Led Oxygen Infoline for Patients and Caregivers. The study was designed for adults with COPD who have a prescription for oxygen 24hrs/day, 7 days/week, with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of people with COPD and their caregivers.

Participants will receive patient-friendly educational material, developed by the COPD Foundation, and receive phone calls over a three-month period.

Interested? From your home, call toll-free a PELICAN study staff member at: (844) 627-5587 Hours: 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM (Central time, Monday to Friday).

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Tags: infoline information oxygen study support
Categories: All About Oxygen

Safety Concerns with Supplemental Oxygen?

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Dear COPD Coach,
I have just been placed on supplemental oxygen 24/7. Up until now I have only used it at night. Are there any safety concerns I should be aware of?

-Scared O2 user

Dear Scared,
Using supplemental oxygen does have some risks associated with it, and you are wise to be concerned. Oxygen itself is not flammable; however the presence of oxygen causes fire or even a spark to burn more quickly and fiercely. So some common sense tips might help ease your concerns.

  • Keep at least 8 to 10 feet away from any flame or spark. This includes gas stoves, fireplaces and yes, even candles. Electric razors (though not widely advertised) can cause sparks, and you should not use your oxygen when shaving with an electric razor.
  • Do not allow smoking anywhere near you. Many oxygen users place a sign on their door stating that supplemental oxygen is being used in the house and that no smoking is allowed. Of course, with lung problems you should never allow any smoking around you or in your home!
  • When cooking, do not wear loose fitting clothes and stay as far away from the heated surface as possible.
  • Avoid using aerosol products as they can ignite in the presence of a spark or fire.

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Tags: concerns oxygen safety supplemental therapy
Categories: All About Oxygen

Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

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The extreme weather conditions that have affected so many across the country this week are particularly concerning to those who require electricity to power their supplemental oxygen. Are you prepared for an emergency? Download the COPD Foundation's free Disaster Preparedness Kit and take the following precautions:

  • Prior to an emergency, contact your power company and tell them you use supplemental oxygen. Ask the following: What kinds of services you can expect during an outage? Will your home receive priority service? Will you be informed frequently about repair progress? If the outage is long, will you be provided with a generator? What is the average frequency and length of power outages is in your area and what you should do to prepare for them?
  • Emergency Preparedness

  • Contact your oxygen provider and ask how much oxygen needs to be placed in your home so that oxygen flow is uninterrupted during a power outage. Your oxygen provider has an obligation to maintain your supply during emergencies. Your oxygen provider may set up one or more large compressed oxygen cylinders in your home for emergency use. Prepare the cylinder for quick use during an emergency and label it with its duration. If you receive regular deliveries of liquid oxygen, your provider may choose to set up additional reservoirs, topping them off periodically. Prepare your liquid tank for quick use during an emergency and label it with its duration. When the concentrator stops, you will need someone else to switch you over to the emergency oxygen. Train that person as soon as possible.
  • Consider installing a generator if you live in a remote area and/or you experience frequent power outages.
  • Develop an emergency preparedness plan with your neighbors and reach out to your local police department for emergency support information.
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    Tags: disaster emergency natural preparedness weather
    Categories: All About Oxygen

    Why Should I Wear My Oxygen?

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    This blog post was written by COPD State Captain "Uncle" Jim Nelson. He and his wife, Mary, are active COPD community advocates.

    Okay, first, you deserve to know that I know what I am talking about. After a premature birth, a childhood of second and third-hand smoke, and personally smoking pretty heavily for 20 years, I was diagnosed with severe COPD in 1995. After learning everything I could about the disease, wearing oxygen at night and while exercising, and seemingly a million miles on the treadmill, I was blessed with a double lung transplant in 2011.

    Since the transplant, Mary and I have spoken to hundreds of patients and their caregivers and traveled to many conferences to present the viewpoints of the lung disease sufferer and the woman who helped to keep him alive for so many years. So, when it comes to using supplemental oxygen, I have been there! I initially went through the traditional hesitation to be seen wearing the cannula. That is a disturbingly common trait among oxygen users, especially those newly prescribed. So, my first question to you is this: What excuse are you using not to wear your oxygen when you know you should?

    Jim For me, it was the usual. I was 55 years old. Mary and I worked every day in our accounting office, and we were active with the Chamber of Commerce, with Rotary and Hospice, and with the Community Theater that we had helped to form. Every day, I met and talked to neighbors, friends, and clients. I was tall and athletic-looking, I had been hunting big game in the Colorado Mountains for some years, and I didn’t want to suddenly appear looking weak, sick, and vulnerable. (My vision…) Fortunately, in the early years, I only had to wear oxygen at night and when exercising, so I could successfully hide my frailty. I gradually backed off from hauling a rifle up and down hills, and did more boating, more fishing. No one noticed because it came upon me so very slowly.

    That all lasted until a bout of pneumonia resulted in orders from the doctor to use oxygen 24 hours a day, at least for a while. So, I showed up at the office, at Rotary meetings and Chamber functions in a cannula. It was a small town, and the word spread quickly. Interestingly, whatever embarrassment or hit to my ego that I had expected was overshadowed by an outpouring of love and support and concern that blew me away!

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    Tags: awareness breathing campaign concerns HIV/AIDS oxygen supplemental What is COPD
    Categories: All About Oxygen

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