Our veteran clinicians share their tips for success for  oxygen therapy


Today's Clinician

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Lesley Williams

Lesley has been a respiratory therapist for 35 years. In her current role here at Apria, she helps train clinical staff with new equipment and supports clinical program initiatives in the southeastern United States. In her free time you can find Lesley spending time with her kids and grandkids, or out enjoying the sun on her boat.

Q. I have a portable oxygen generator, how would I know if the levels are set correctly for me? 


A. Your liter flow (level) is determined by your physician. They have considered multiple factors when prescribing your liter flow. Oxygen saturation testing, like pulse oximetry, is used to determine if your setting is appropriate. You can purchase a pulse oximeter and check your values at home. We normally want to see a saturation of at least 90%. Speak with your doctor about what oxygen saturation they would like you to normally maintain. Never adjust your liter flow without consulting with your doctor.

Q. Where is a good place to get in-depth, written information about COPD and best practices for how to manage it?


A. A good place to start is our Home Healthcare Insights, where you can find a handful of articles on COPD and general oxygen tips and news. 

The American Lung Association also has some great resources for COPD patients, and I recommend looking in your area for a Better Breathers Club as well.

Q. I am on both oxygen and CPAP but I’ve been using oxygen at night instead of CPAP, which one is more important to use at night? 


A. Both are important! If your doctor determined that you need both oxygen and CPAP at night they are not interchangeable and should be used together. CPAP treats obstructive sleep apnea by stenting your airway open to allow airflow. Oxygen treats a deficiency of oxygen in your blood. Oxygen will not flow into your body if your airway is obstructed. Used together, both your obstructive sleep apnea and oxygen deficiency are treated.  

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