Homecare respiratory services

Home Oxygen Therapy

Providing long term oxygen therapy in the home tailored to each patient’s needs.

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)?

COPD describes a range of progressive diseases that result in airway constriction and make it difficult to breathe. Moderate to severe COPD affects around 65 million people worldwide. The most common COPD conditions are emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but COPD can also include refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis.

Smoking is by far the most common cause of COPD, but it can also be caused by long term exposure to air pollution or to dust or chemicals. As COPD is a chronic disease, it cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Medication and lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking, can help.

How can Long Term Oxygen Therapy help?

Oxygen can help the patient’s symptoms by:
•    reducing the feeling of breathlessness
•    improving the amount of exercise or activity they can do
•    improving ability to sleep
•    improving quality of life
•    increasing their level of comfort 

Some people might have a low oxygen level even at rest, and they may benefit from long term oxygen therapy. Other patients may be advised to use oxygen for a certain amount of time, though never less than 15 hours per day. Each case will need a full assessment to find the correct prescription for the patient’s needs.

Oxygen therapy can be delivered in a number of different ways depending on the patient’s needs and lifestyle.

Homecare respiratory services

Medical oxygen supply

Liquid medical oxygen


Medical liquid oxygen is stored in an insulated stainless steel container that works in a similar way to a thermos flask. Medical grade oxygen can be supplied in compressed gas form in a range of different sized containers. It is produced following strict pharmaceutical guidelines.

We deliver this stationary container to the patient’s home and replace it regularly with a re-filled container holding 36 litres of liquid oxygen (equivalent to 120 one-litre gas cylinders).

This is supplemented by small portable lightweight containers filled from the home container, and carried on the shoulders or in a specially adapted rucksack enabling the patient to get out and about.
We follow the pharmaceutical guidelines when documenting the safety and efficacy of our medical gases. All our gas containers are robust, reliable, convenient to use and safe to handle. To provide the highest quality, all containers are tested at every fill to ensure continued patient safety. The liquid oxygen is vaporized into gas and warmed to room temperature inside the equipment before it is delivered via tubing (called a cannula), which fits into the nostrils.
Linde homecare technicians demonstrate how to use a container safely, and provide detailed instructions and safety guidance.


Medical oxygen in cylinders


Medical grade oxygen can be supplied in compressed gas form in a range of different sized cylinders. It is produced following strict pharmaceutical guidelines.

Larger cylinders can be used at home and are often provided alongside an oxygen concentrator as a back-up. Smaller portable cylinders are also available for use outside the home.

We follow the pharmaceutical guidelines when documenting the safety and efficacy of our medical gases. All our gas cylinders are robust, reliable, convenient to use and safe to handle. To provide the highest quality, all cylinders are tested at every fill to ensure continued patient safety.

Linde homecare technicians demonstrate how to use a cylinder safely, and provide detailed instructions and safety guidance.

-    Standard portable cylinders
Portable cylinders can be transported using a carrying bag or a trolley. The Linde homecare technician will discuss the patient’s particular needs and leave either a bag or a trolley when delivering the portable cylinders.

Portable cylinders help the patient to continue to benefit from oxygen therapy outside the home. It is important that the patient discusses with the prescribing doctor their normal daily activities to enable the doctor to prescribe the right amount of oxygen for the patient to use at these times.

Standard portable cylinders can last 7.5 hours (on a flow of 1 litre per minute) but can be extended up to 22.5 hours if used with a conserving device. 


-    Lightweight cylinders
Lightweight cylinders are available and are easier to take out and about. These are also ideal for children, or frailer adult patients who find the standard portable cylinder a little too heavy to carry. These cylinders can last five hours (on a flow rate of 1 litre per minute) or up to 15 hours if used with a conserving device.

Oxygen concentrators

An oxygen concentrator works by drawing in the air. It separates the oxygen from the other gases using a filter system that allows only the oxygen to pass through. The patient breathes the oxygen as normal via their mask. Other people in the room will still be breathing normal amounts of oxygen.

The concentrator can be used with a long section of oxygen tubing to reach around the house. The concentrator is about the size of a stand-alone gas heater and plugs into the mains electricity supply in the home, using 300 Watts (or below) per hour (about the same as four light bulbs). A back-up cylinder is sometimes provided to use in case of a power failure.

Portable oxygen concentrators 
Portable concentrators continually provide oxygen, so the patient does not have to transport multiple tanks to avoid running out of oxygen. They run on a battery that needs to be recharged regularly.

Portable concentrators give the patient the ability to switch from AC electrical power at home, to DC power in the car, to battery power when walking, for maximum mobility. They can be used on airplanes, but different airlines have different rules and the patient should check with the airline in advance of flying.