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Turn on any television program that takes place in a hospital, and at least once during the broadcast you will see a patient in an ambulance or emergency room who is in the midst of oxygen therapy. The use of oxygen tanks, or an oxygen concentrator of some sort, is almost synonymous with the public’s image of emergency healthcare. However, oxygen therapy is not just about emergency medical care, it is also about maintaining a healthy lifestyle when you are no longer in a medical setting.
Oxygen is the basis of cellular metabolism and is therefore the foundation of all our physiological functions. Without it, or with a reduced amount of it, our ability to function and live a healthier life is dramatically decreased. In the past, people who needed help with oxygen intake were saddled with oxygen tanks that were huge, heavy, and limited by a fixed amount of oxygen. It was difficult to get around town with one, let alone go grocery shopping or visiting friends. As they are not allowed onboard planes, traveling with tanks is nearly impossible. The development of portable oxygen machines, especially over the course of the last 10 years, has made living and traveling while receiving oxygen considerably easier. The possibility of living a full life, while receiving the amount of oxygen that is necessary for a healthy life, is finally here.