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If after an assessment it is shown that your body does not have enough oxygen, oxygen therapy can be given to increase the supply of oxygen to your body. This may be in the form of cylinders, a concentrator or other oxygen delivery devices. Today oxygen therapy can be a major part of the treatment you may be receiving. You may require oxygen therapy for up to 24 hours per day, your doctor or nurse will advise you on how long you should be using the therapy each day.
This site contains information about the full range of products available from BOC to home oxygen patients and the level of support you can expect from our highly trained team of professionals.
We have also provided our Home Oxygen adult handbook online, which contains further information on our service.
Please click the following link to access this:
How to order?
A prescribing clinician will order your oxygen for the first time. When you need a oxygen replenishment there are two ways to this. The first, is calling our freephone number 0800 136 603 and speaking to our dedicated home oxygen team, who will be happy to assist you.
The team can organise the delivery and installation of equipment. They can provide information and technical support on a wide variety of oxygen products.
We can also provide the contact details for clubs and support groups that offer help and advice for patients, their families and carers.
We are now also pleased to offer all our patients the option of ordering their oxygen online by clicking the following link and filling out a simple secure form: https://www.bochealthcare.co.uk/homeoxygenservices/
What to do in an emergency
What to do if your concentrator fails?
If you feel unwell then it is important that you contact your doctor so that he/she can provide guidance.
If your oxygen needs change, or you need expert medical advice on using your oxygen then where possible you should contact your prescribing clinician.
• Firstly, please check that the concentrator is plugged in properly and switched on at the wall.
• If you need oxygen 24 hours a day then switch to using your back up cylinder.
• Ring the Patient Service Centre (PSC) and explain the problem.
• They will ask you a series of questions to determine what the problem might be.
• It is crucial that you give them as much information as possible, so they can help you.
• They will then give you advice on how to fix the problem or if this is not possible, they will arrange for one of our Patient Service Representatives (PSRs) to visit you.
• Our freephone line 0800 136 603 is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year to respond to emergencies.
What to do if your cylinders run out of oxygen?
It is important that you do not use your back up cylinder other than in the event of an emergency, such as a concentrator breakdown or power cut. If you only use Intermittent oxygen therapy i.e. use large static cylinders for up to 2 hours per day in the home; please ensure you order replenishments during normal working hours for next working day delivery. If you have run out of oxygen in your large capacity cylinder please contact our Patient Service Centre on 0800 136 603 to arrange an emergency delivery. One of our Patient Service Representatives will respond within 4 hours of your request.
Ambulatory oxygen supply is not covered by the 4 hour emergency service; this includes liquid oxygen and portable cylinders. Please reorder replenishment during the normal working day for next working day delivery. As a guide when you are down to your last cylinder or the liquid mother unit is showing one light on the guide bar. Please ensure you have checked you have enough supplies to support your weekend activities by Thursday at the latest.
Urgent deliveries – please plan ahead as urgent deliveries are very costly for the NHS.
If you feel unwell or are using more oxygen
It is important that you contact your clinician if you are feeling increasingly breathless or feeling unwell.
Oxygen therapy is a carefully prescribed medication and the flow rate should not be altered without being assessed and prescribed accordingly.
If you are using more oxygen than is prescribed, BOC are responsible for making you aware of this and we will ask you to contact your prescribing clinician.
What do I do if I have a leaking or faulty cylinder?
Turn off the cylinder and notify us immediately. Isolate the cylinder in a well ventilated area.
Oxygen itself does not burn – but most materials will burn very vigorously when in the presence of oxygen. It is important that the oxygen equipment is not used anywhere near where there is an open flame. You should be at least 10 feet (3 metres) away from a naked flame or 5 feet (1.5 metres) from an electrical heat source. Make sure that the oxygen is always used in a well ventilated area – this will ensure that you will not get any high concentrations of oxygen that will encourage things to burn in the event of an ignition.
→→ Never smoke (or let someone else smoke) near the oxygen equipment – even when it is being used at low flows.
→→ Never use the oxygen equipment near open fires or naked flames. This includes candles on birthday cakes.
In the event of a fire:
→→ Make sure everyone is immediately evacuated from the area.
→→ Immediately ring 999 – if necessary telephone from a neighbour’s house.
→→ Advise the operator that there are gas cylinders/liquid oxygen vessels in the premises.
→→ As soon as it is practical, ring our Patients Service Centre to advise them about the fire and let them know if any of your oxygen equipment has been involved in the fire.
Do not use any oxygen equipment that has been involved in the fire. You should take any additional advice you are given by your local Fire Safety Officer. We strongly recommend that you fit a smoke alarm to your property and carry out regular checks to ensure it remains operational.
These are a very important safety features and can help reduce the risk of a fire travelling down the oxygen tubing to your equipment. Firebreaks should not to be removed from your equipment or tubing.
In the event of a fire occurring in your oxygen tubing, the firebreak will act as a thermal fuse by cutting off the oxygen supply. When the firebreak triggers, it will immediately stop the oxygen flow, preventing the flames burning back to the oxygen supply. A firebreak is always fitted at the patient end of the tubing, just before the nasal cannula or mask. For concentrators, a second firebreak is fitted on the outlet of the machine. It is very important that these are not removed by you or anyone else, including ambulance crews and clinicians.
Please note: The arrow on the firebreak must always point towards your cannula or mask. If this is not the case, please inform BOC on 0800 136 603. Firebreaks must never be removed. Please contact BOC if you need any further advice.
Fire and Rescue Service (FRS)A monthly list of all patients on home oxygen therapy will be sent to the local FRS. BOC has worked very closely with the FRS to develop a working partnership to improve the safety of all our patients. At risk patients may be eligible for a free visit from the community fire safety officer, which includes a discussion on fire safety and safe exit routes in the event of a fire. Please contact your local FRS for further information. If a patient is found not to have a working smoke alarm/detector in their property the local FRS will be informed. Patients who ignore fire safety advice e.g. smoking on or around oxygen therapy will also be referred to their local FRS.