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Home oxygen equipment

There are different types of oxygen equipment. Your healthcare professional will select the most effective equipment for your condition and lifestyle.

Static Equipment for use in the home

Static oxygen concentrators

Static concentrators work by drawing in the air and separating out the oxygen from the other gases using a filter system. This filter traps some gases and allows the oxygen to pass through. The oxygen is delivered to you by tubing which connects to the cannula or mask for you to breathe.

Oxygen concentrators deliver a steady supply of oxygen in the home and are a suitable solution for users with high flow rates and for those who use their oxygen for several hours a day.

Static oxygen cylinders

(Static) cylinders are mainly used as a back-up supply to a concentrator in the event of a power cut or machine failure. They are also suitable for patients who require only small amounts of oxygen at home.

Portable equipment for use away from home

Portable oxygen cylinders

Portable oxygen cylinders come in two different sizes:

  • 2L (Standard cylinders)
  • 1L

Portable oxygen cylinders allow greater mobility outside the home and so are suitable for patients who are active and independent and who still want to be out and about.

They are lightweight so they can be comfortably carried over the shoulder or by using the trolley provided.

Oxygen consumables

Cannulae, face masks, fire breaks, regulators, conservers and humidifiers are the most commonly used consumables with home oxygen equipment. Your healthcare professional will discuss these with your when ordering your oxygen equipment. 

  • Cannulae enable you to take oxygen through your nose and allow you to eat, drink or talk. It consists of a tube which fits behind the ears with a set of two prongs which are placed in the nose.
  • Masks are an alternative option and are useful for higher flow rates or if you have a cold, but they can make it difficult to talk or eat while using your oxygen. Your mask must be prescribed by your healthcare professional.
  • Tubing carries oxygen from your cylinder or concentrator to your mask or cannula. It is an important piece of equipment. Your oxygen tube should be no longer that 15 metres long. 
  • Humidifier is a small plastic container attached to the front of a concentrator which is filled with water. This allows moisture to mix with the oxygen before being passed through the cannula to the user. This can be useful if you find that your nose has become dry or sore.
  • Conserving device delivers oxygen in an intermittent flow instead of a continuous flow. It is used in conjunction with a portable oxygen cylinder. It should make the cylinder last up to three times longer and should only be used with a nasal cannula.