How I use Oxygen - Doc's may disagree

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Posted by John Bown ( on October 24, 1999 at 09:33:47:

I have been told how to use oxygen by doctors, and I am sure they have excellent reasons for their advice. I am not a doctor, and what I am going to say may very well be harmful to your health.

I use a non-rebreathing mask; the kind with three valves and an accumulator bag. This kind of mask is dangerous and hard to get because if you pass out with it on and the tank runs dry, it is just like having duct tape over your mouth and nose. Therefore I do not use the strap around the back of the head; I hold it to my face with my hand. This allows me to breathe 100% oxygen. It does not mix with room air or with my exhausted breath. I use a "bubbler" on the tank to add humidity to the oxygen, and I use an "H" tank (big momma) so I won't have to change tanks in the middle of a treatment.

When I first arrive at my "dance floor" I am usually agitated from fear. I set the tank for 15 liters/min, and work on controlling my breathing. WITHIN ONE MINUTE I turn it down to 10 liters a minute. I breathe slowly, deeply and calmly. IF I have started the oxygen at the first sign, 95% of the time the cluster attack aborts within 5-7 minutes.

Loose-fitting masks, 8 liters/min., etc., have not worked for me. Perhaps I am frying my lungs. So be it; this is my decision. Check it with your doctor. Just be damn sure you don't let yourself fall asleep with this get-up on. I never lie down while using the rig. I have a little stool to sit on, and a really long hose so I can pace if needed.

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