Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Season's Greetings 2011

Northwest Respiratory Services would like to
wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oxygen System Troubleshooting

As the weather turns colder, especially here in the Midwest, oxygen equipment can sometimes be prone to some issues. For instance, as with any electronics, concentrators included, you want to do your best to keep them warm so that they operate correctly and efficiently.

If you are using a portable oxygen concentrator for travel, you would not want to leave the equipment in a cold vehicle overnight as this can affect performance of the batteries in particular. Oxygen cylinders should also not be stored outside during extreme cold as seals can be affected by the low temperatures. Concentrators should also be allowed to warm up before use to ensure optimal operating conditions for use.

For more information on troubleshooting oxygen related equipment please see the below information. After all, it's not just cold weather that can lead to problems with equipment operation.


Concentrator does not turn on.
  1. Make sure unit is plugged in.
  2. Check outlet for power with a working light. If the outlet does not have power, switch plug to new outlet.
  3. If outlet has power and unit is plugged in but still does not turn on switch oxygen tubing to back-up tanks and call NRS.
Concentrator turns on but oxygen does not flow.
  1. Check oxygen flow meter on the front of the unit. Be sure flow rate is set.
  2. Check humidity bottle for bubbling. If humidity bottle is not bubbling, disconnect humidity bottle and reconnect.
  3. Place cannula tips in a glass of water and check for bubbles. If water does not bubble, check tubing for kinks or disconnect.
  4. Replace Oxygen Tubing.
  5. Switch oxygen tubing to back-up tanks and call NRS if oxygen still does not flow.
Concentrator alarms low oxygen.
  1. Make sure nothing is within 12 inches of the concentrator.
  2. Remove and clean filter (do not put a wet filter back on the concentrator).
  3. Re-start concentrator.
  4. If concentrator alarm continues, call NRS.

Liquid Oxygen

Liquid oxygen system does not provide oxygen.
  1. Check for tubing disconnect or kinks.
  2. Disconnect humidify bottle or oxygen adapter and reconnect.
  3. Check for bubbling in humidity bottle.
  4. If the humidifier bottle is not bubbling unscrew cup and reconnect.
  5. If humidity bottle is bubbling and oxygen still does not flow, place cannula in a cup of water and check for bubbles.
  6. Check liquid oxygen content level.
  7. If empty or oxygen still does not flow, switch to back-up oxygen tanks and call NRS.
Liquid portable oxygen and stationary system are frozen together.
  1. Do not force apart.
  2. Wait 10-30 minutes and then separate the two pieces.
  3. If units still do not separate, call NRS.

Oxygen Cylinders

Oxygen leaking from cylinder regulator.
  1. Close oxygen cylinder valve.
  2. Remove oxygen regulator and make sure yoke seal (washer) is on the regulator.
  3. Align regulator pins on oxygen cylinder and tighten “T-handle”.
  4. Turn cylinder valve on with wrench.
  5. If problem persist call NRS.
Oxygen does not flow from oxygen cylinder.
  1. Turn valve “on” by turn valve counterclockwise.
  2. Check gauge for oxygen content. If empty replace cylinder.
  3. Check oxygen-tubing connections for disconnect or kinks. Un-kink and reconnect any tubing issues.
  4. Place oxygen tubing in a glass of water to see if oxygen is flowing. The water will bubble if oxygen is flowing.
  5. Call NRS if problem continues

Please do not hesitate to call NRS @ 800-232-0706 if you are having troubles with your equipment.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Your Oxygen Prescription

Oxygen is a drug. It must be prescribed for you by your physician. Just as you are unique, so is your disease that requires oxygen, and so is your oxygen prescription. Your doctor has, after having examined you and ordered specific tests, determined:
• How much oxygen you need to use, and
• When you need to use your oxygen.
Your doctor has given us your oxygen prescription and we have supplied you with the appropriate equipment and supplies. It is very important that you follow your doctor’s orders by always using the prescribed flow at the prescribed times. Your medical technician can answer any questions you might have regarding your oxygen and its use.
If you feel you need a change in either, how much oxygen you are using, or when you are to use it, please see your doctor. He or She can determine if a change in your prescription is necessary. If we receive a new oxygen order for you from your doctor, we will re-evaluate your equipment needs and supplies to assure that they are appropriate for your new prescription.

Contact NRS with any questions, we're here to help!  1-800-232-0706

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oxygen Safety Rules

Oxygen does not explode and cannot burn by itself. However, fire will occur when oxygen exists in combination with a combustible or flammable material and a source of ignition.

To prevent the chance of a fire, follow these rules:
  • DO NOT permit the use of open flames or burning tobacco in the room where oxygen is being used or stored. If you are going to smoke, remove the cannula, shut-off the oxygen supply and wait for oxygen to dissipate. Do not smoke within 10 feet of your oxygen source.
  • DO NOT use any household electric equipment in oxygen enriched areas (e.g., electric razors, heaters, electric blankets). Keep them at least five feet away.
  • DO NOT use heavy coatings of oily lotions, face creams, or hair dressings while using oxygen.
  • DO NOT use aerosol sprays in the vicinity of oxygen equipment.
  • DO NOT use petroleum based products (i.e., petroleum jelly) around oxygen.
  • DO NOT oil or grease any oxygen equipment.
  • DO NOT allow oxygen tubing to be covered by any objects.
  • DO NOT leave oxygen equipment running when it is not being used.
  • DO NOT abuse or handle oxygen containers roughly.
  • DO NOT store oxygen in confined areas or in the trunk of your car.
  • DO NOT allow untrained persons or children to adjust oxygen equipment.
  • DO NOT store oxygen containers near radiators, heat ducts, steam pipes or other sources of heat.
  • Always store oxygen cylinders secured with a chain or stand.
  • Never change your prescribed flow rate without first checking with your doctor.
  • Switch to cylinders during an electrical storm.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your home.
  • Have working smoke alarms in your home. Test the alarms monthly.

Please call NRS with any questions or to report an incident - 800-232-0706

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Traveling with Oxygen

Your doctor, aware of your special medical needs, can answer your questions regarding your ability to travel with oxygen. Always consult with your doctor before traveling.

When traveling, always make sure that you have enough oxygen for your trip. Your NRS customer service representative can help you calculate the correct amount. You are allowed to use oxygen in most public places, if in doubt, call before you go.

If traveling by car, your portable unit must be secured in an upright position. “Crack” your window to provide adequate ventilation. Never leave your unit in your vehicle for a long time and never store it in the trunk. Follow all oxygen safety precautions when traveling. Keep your oxygen away from heat and in a well ventilated area. Always request non-smoking areas.

No matter how you are traveling, contact the specific bus, train or airline for regulations and requirements concerning oxygen.

Before leaving, ask your doctor for a copy of your oxygen prescription. You will need this to obtain oxygen away from home. Call customer service to arrange for an oxygen supplier at your destination before departure.

If you plan to travel outside NRS area of coverage, and plan to take our equipment, you must sign an agreement stating your destination, length of stay, equipment taken and how to contact you at your destination.

Northwest Respiratory Services

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Welcome to Northwest Respiratory Services online news and information blog. We will utilize "The Northwester" to share updates on our company and information our employees and customers may find valuable relating to our industry.

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To care for our customers with compassion and integrity by providing quality respiratory products and services at the best possible value and with the highest standards of care.

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