If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, you are more prone to lung infections and being short of breath. These conditions often require frequent hospitalization. To keep you healthier and out of the hospital, your doctor may prescribe home oxygen for you along with nebulizer treatments for you to take at home. Here is a quick look at what you can expect if you need medical equipment at home to manage your COPD.
If You're In The Hospital Now
If you're currently in the hospital and you know you'll be discharged with home medical equipment, you can use this time to learn how to manage it. Your doctor will probably have a respiratory therapist teach you about using home oxygen and a nebulizer. You're already familiar with taking breathing treatments in the hospital, but you'll need to learn things like how to assemble the equipment and how to clean it so you don't give yourself an infection. You'll also learn about the importance of complying with your doctor's orders so the treatments you take at home are the most effective.
When it comes to having oxygen at home, you'll learn important safety measures such as using signs on your door to keep people from smoking in your house, having backup oxygen supplies in case of a power failure, and how to prevent tripping hazards posed by your oxygen tubing. Your equipment should be set up at your house and waiting for you to use as soon as you get home from the hospital.
If You're Getting Equipment After A Doctor Visit
If your doctor told you at your last office visit that you should be on home respiratory therapy treatments, the procedure is a little different. The medical equipment company delivers the supplies to your home and teaches you how to use them. Some companies use respiratory therapists for this. Your insurance may even cover monthly visits by a respiratory therapist to monitor the equipment and check on your condition. Everything you need is delivered to your home for your convenience although you can buy some extra supplies at a medical supply store if you ever need them and want to pay for them out of pocket. However, durable equipment such as an oxygen concentrator needs a doctor's prescription, and is normally paid for by your insurance.
Equipment Used For Home Management Of COPD
The equipment you have delivered depends on your condition and what your doctor thinks you need to maintain your lifestyle. There are different types of oxygen systems that can be used. Oxygen concentrators are common because they are safe and easy to use. You may also be given a portable oxygen unit for wearing when you leave the house. You might also have a cylinder of oxygen delivered as a backup in case the power goes out or something goes wrong with your concentrator.
A nebulizer is needed for breathing treatments. You can get a desktop model or a small portable unit to use when you're away from home. You'll also need tubing, a medication cup, and mask or mouthpiece. Your insurance will limit the amount of disposable supplies you can have each month, but you can always buy more if needed if you pay for them yourself. Learning how to keep the breathing equipment clean is important since your supplies may be limited.
Other supplies and equipment you'll need include the oxygen cannula you wear in your nose and the prescription medication you use in your breathing treatments. Be sure to let your respiratory therapist at the hospital or the one who visits you at home know if you have any questions about using your equipment. It's also good for other members of your family to learn how to use the equipment too for times when you feel too bad to give the treatments to yourself. Contact a company like Corner Home Medical to learn more.