Most patients who need oxygen in their daily lives would like to be able to travel more. Travel by car is possible with a growing number of lightweight concentrators, which are powered directly from the car battery through the old cigarette lighter. These nine-pound concentrators can be easily carried into a motel or hotel at night. They are very soon to be approved for air travel. The battery on the first of these concentrators lasts only about 45 minutes. The newer devices have a nearly three-hour battery life. The battery is always being charged, when external electricity is used.
This is a vast improvement over old-fashioned cylinders, which are heavy, or lighter tanks which last only a few hours. And you still need a concentrator for nighttime use.
For patients who use the lightweight portable liquid systems such as Helios or Spirit, a filling source is needed. The CAIRE Liberator-10 liquid reservoir is just the right device. It will fit in the back seat of the car for travel and is the source of refills. It weighs about 50 pounds full, and lasts about a week. The Liberator-10 is manufactured by CAIRE of Minneapolis and is available via most suppliers, such as Apria, Lincare and CAIRE. The Apria Company also provides a booklet with helpful information regarding location of their outlets for needed refills along the way.
Liquid portable systems are the most versatile and practical portable oxygen systems and are ideal for long-term travel, i.e., a week or more with refills that are available across the USA.
So, things are getting a lot better with travel. Be liberated and visit family or friends. Or just go on a nice trip and take your time.
I'll be in touch next month.
Thomas Petty, MD