Our veteran clinicians share their tips for success for  oxygen therapy

Ask Apria

Today's Clinicians

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Mary Rehlinger

Mary is a licensed respiratory therapist and has been helping Apria's patients in the Midwest region for over 31 years. In her free time Mary enjoys spending time in the outdoors, teaching group workout classes and watching football.

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Carrie Neddenriep

Carrie has been providing clinical support to Apria's patients as a licensed respiratory therapist in the Colorado region for nearly 8 years. Outside of work, Carrie is a sport enthusiast, enjoys spending time with family, and exploring the Rocky Mountains.

Q. What are the most common questions you hear from our COPD or respiratory patients?


A. (Mary) Most respiratory patients want to be active and not be “tied” down because of their condition. We make sure that they are given choices to ensure that the equipment they have been prescribed is portable. This includes smaller tanks, portable concentrators, and home-fill systems. Most of our patients have a conserving device that allows them to use smaller, easier-to-carry tanks.  

It's not unusual for patients to contact us when they’re having a difficult time with their breathing or feel their symptoms are getting worse. That’s why our respiratory therapists proactively reach out and call all our COPD patients on a regular basis to see how they are doing. We learn if they feel they would benefit from either an increase in oxygen or a different type of equipment, such as a cough-assist machine or NIV (non-invasive ventilation).


A. (Carrie) It’s common for respiratory patients to say to us that they want to go out of their house or be much more mobile, but with COPD and using oxygen can be difficult. We are always here to help assist with what may be the best modality of oxygen therapy for a patient’s disease status as well as for their activities of daily living. We also reach out to their physician with an update on our patient’s condition and make suggestions on therapy that can help address these concerns.

Q. What tips can you offer patients on oxygen when they are traveling?


A. (Mary) If you are traveling by air, make sure you get your travel details to our travel department at least two weeks before departure date. We will provide details regarding out-of-pocket costs associated with this program.

If you are traveling within the US and would like to take your equipment with you, we instruct you on how to secure it in your vehicle.   If you are driving to several different locations, we can arrange for you to either pick up the equipment at an Apria office near your destination or have it delivered to your destination.


A. (Carrie) Communicate with us! Let us know your travel schedule so there can be coordination and plans set in place before you leave. Traveling with oxygen does require some work ahead of time, but it is doable, and we can help arrange what you need so that you aren’t bearing the burden of extra stress while planning a trip. 

Q. What special services does Apria provide for people with COPD who receive oxygen/ventilator therapy? 


A. (Mary) Our respiratory therapists follow up with our COPD patients and ventilator patients, both invasive and non-invasive. Our RTs are very knowledgeable and can be reached 24/7/365 for any questions or support you may need. 


A. (Carrie) The licensed respiratory therapists at Apria are airway experts, so we can help patients who are living with respiratory diseases across the entire spectrum of their disease. We take an immense amount of pride in helping people adjust to their respiratory therapies and live their healthiest lives.

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