sounds like confusion re: oxygen use

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Posted by gary g ( on September 27, 1999 at 12:37:55:

In Reply to: O2 side-effects?? posted by Jeroen on September 27, 1999 at 04:25:41:

a couple things in your post are "clues" something isn't as it should be:

1. you say it works in remission.......
why would you be using it when in remission (meaning those times when you are free of cluster attacks altogether ?)
if you mean using it between attacks while in a cluster period, again - oxygen is purely an attack abortive, why would you use it when not under attack ?

2. the conventional way to use it seems to be:

a. use PURE oxygen - not a mix with normal atmosphre, and not thru a rebreather mechanism -
most folks are using a nonrebreather bag type mask, which valves the 02 to you with out mixing, and exhausts your exhalation outside the mask, without mixing it back into the resevoir bag

b. flow rate on that type of setup should be 8-10 liters per minute, to keep up with your breathing pace - if you end up inhaling ANY room air along with it, it probably won't work

c. most of us find that to be effective we must start the 02 at the VERY FIRST sign that an attack is starting - if we wait until it is underway and painful, relief is not dependable

d. stay on the oxygen until the attack is completely relieved - about 3 - 5 minutes AFTER you feel the last symptoms

to guage what you're doing:
most people are reporting they use the oxygen a total of 15 - 20 minutes for each attack, including the extra time at the end

some people report that the attacks "come right back" when they stop - I believe that usually this is because they stopped the 02 before the attack was completely past OR-
another attack occurs an hour or so later, and they consider it the same attack coming back (I don't feel that way - I sometimes get 8 - 10 separate attacks a day, with complete relief in between, regardless of what treatment I'm using, so if I get clear for an hour or so, I consider them separate attacks)

Not working at all ?:
reports of effectiveness WHEN USED APPROPRIATELY range between 70% and 90%, so nothing's absolute -
but if you aren't using the 02 as outlined above, try it & see what happens

you said you used 2 tanks - it sounded as though you meant all at once - that definitely shouldn't be - I get the medium size tanks & they are good for 10-12 attacks

if you are using it all the time, but at a low flow rate, or thru a nasal canula, etc, it's a waste of time & $$$$

THIS WILL NOT STOP THE CLUSTER PERIOD - it is for relief of the individual attacks!!!


one problem can be dehydration from the pure oxygen, which is nearly moisture free -
leading to drying of respiratory exchange surfaces - not good !
some of us are experimenting with hmdifying the 02 as it comes from the tank, others
report no problems when used in the infrequent short periods referred to

in the US, 02 is prescription use only, so the patient's DR is aware - other places, check with your doc first, especially if you have any other respiratory or CV problems

well -
head is twinging - gotta go counterattack !

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