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Patient & Caregiver FAQ

General

Respiratory

  • Q:  What is Oxygen Therapy?

    A:  Oxygen is delivered in the home by three primary means:  oxygen concentrators, homefill units and tanks.  The method of delivery is determined by your needs and doctors orders.  Oxygen is a drug and must be used according to your doctor’s orders.  If you should have any questions regarding the use of your oxygen equipment please call us during normal business hours or after hours if you are having difficulty with your equipment.  Some important things to remember about your oxygen are:

    • Oxygen is colorless, tasteless, and odorless
    • Oxygen is a drug and requires a physicians order
    • All forms of oxygen, though non-flammable, cause other materials to burn faster than normal
    • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in the same room as your concentrator
    • Use your oxygen exactly as the doctor prescribed

     

  • Q:  How do I order/re-order oxygen?

    A:  Call Upstate HomeCare to place an order for more Oxygen Tanks.
    Please call our staff 2 days prior to needing more supplies.

  • Q:  What are your suggested restrictions regarding using oxygen?

    A:  Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in the same room as your concentrator.  Do not use your oxygen within five (5) feet of electrical appliances such as stoves, heaters, toasters, and hair dryers.  Avoid using combustible materials on your face such as oils, greases, aerosol sprays, or petroleum based products (e.g. Vaseline.)

     

  • Q:  If I need to add a water trap where do I put it?

    A:  You should have also received a 7' section of oxygen tubing to attach to the concentrator.  Put the water trap between the 7' tubing and your 25' tubing.

  • Q:  How often should I replace my tubing and other parts of my oxygen setup?

    A:  Change the cannula every 1 -2 weeks as recommended.

    Change the tubing every 3-6 months.

     

  • Q:  How many hours will my oxygen tank last?

    A:  The duration will depend on the type of tank and pressure.

  • Q:  Who should I call if I am planning a trip and use oxygen?

    A:  Call and speak to one of our respiratory therapists who can assist you with what you will need to travel with your oxygen.

  • Q:  What is a conserving regulator?

    A:  Its a device that works only on demand when you breath in.  This type of regulator extends the time your tank with last.

  • Q:  Who decides the oxygen liter flow / dose?

    A:  Oxygen is a FDA regulated drug that needs to be prescribed by the physician or an extension of the physician ie.  Nurse practitioner.

Infusion

  • Q:  What is Home Infusion?

    A:  Home Infusion therapy involves the administration of medications or solutions through a needle or catheter while the customer remains at home.  Typically, “infusion therapy” means that a drug is administered through veins, but the term may also refer to situations where drugs or solutions are provided through other non-oral routes.

  • Q:  Who is responsible for administering my therapy?

    A:  The patient or a designated caregiver (family/friend) will be trained by our professional nursing staff on proper administration.  Instruction paperwork will be handed out and reviewed for patients/caregivers to use in the home.

  • Q:  How will I get my medications and supplies?

    A:  Medications are delivered to your home by our delivery staff or they are shipped via UPS if the address is out of our immediate delivery area.  Our pharmacy staff will call you a few days prior to your next scheduled delivery to determine what you have on hand.  In the event you are running low, please call our staff 2 days prior to needing more supplies.

  • Q:  Who do I call if I have a question or problem after hours/weekend/holiday?

    A:  Our pharmacy, nursing, and delivery staff are available 24/7.  Call our main number any time of the day to reach any of our professional staff with questions, concerns, or needs.  If our office is closed, the call will be answered by our answering service and the appropriate staff member will be contacted to assist you and return your call.

  • Q:  What activities should I avoid while on Home Infusion therapy?

    A:  Your physician will discuss what you should and should not do based on your diagnosis.  Your home care nurse will also review what you should and should not do.

  • Q:  Can I travel if I’m on Home Infusion Therapy?

    A:  Travel is something that must be discussed with your physician and home care nurse.

  • Q:  If my physician changes or stops my therapy, can I return unused medication?

    A:  For safety reasons, State Law does not allow for the return of any unused medication to a pharmacy.  Follow your state's guidelines for the disposal of unused medication and supplies.

     

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