Oxygen therapy can be prescribed for people who are unable to get enough oxygen on their own and therefore need supplemental oxygen. Disorders such as COPD, asthma, lung disease, pneumonia, and more can be reasons why a doctor might prescribe oxygen therapy for an individual.
In order to get this necessary oxygen, oxygen cylinders (also known as oxygen tanks) are most commonly used as portable or backup oxygen (during power failures) for people on oxygen therapy. These tanks store liquid oxygen that is under high pressure.
Portable oxygen tanks are convenient when traveling as they can be easily transported for those that need a continuous flow of oxygen at all times. Depending on whether you need to use oxygen therapy long-term or short-term, this will determine what kind of oxygen tank you should get.
There are many different types of medical oxygen systems and they vary in size. “A” represents the smallest of the tanks while “E” represents the largest sized oxygen tank. Some O2 tanks will have a number that follows the primary letter of the tank. This number represents the amount of cubic feet of oxygen that can be stored in the cylinder. The optimal size oxygen tank will depend on a number of factors relating to a person’s lifestyle and their prescribed flow rate. Sizes B, C, D, and E are typically used if you plan on transporting your oxygen tank at some point as these tanks are portable. On the other hand, larger sized oxygen tanks H and K can be used as a back-up of oxygen if needed. Consult with your physician or one of our CareLinc representatives to choose which oxygen tank will be suitable for you.
To learn more about oxygen cylinder storage, handling and maintenance, you can download our PDF.
CareLinc offers aluminum oxygen cylinders in a variety of sizes that last varying duration times when temperature, number of breaths per minute and liter flow are taken into account. If you have questions about finding the right oxygen tank size, feel free to contact our customer service and they can help answer any questions you have.
Common sized cylinders for portability: B, C, D and E.
Large H & K tanks can be stored as back-up oxygen supply.
Oxygen regulators come in two basic types: continuous flow and conserver.
- Continuous flow provides a steady flow of oxygen while a patient is on portable cylinders.
- Conservers shut off O2 supply while the patient is exhaling, conserving oxygen and may allow for additional cylinder duration time depending on circumstances.
*Note: Patients with certain debilitating conditions may not be able to trigger the conserver regulators, which could result in poor oxygenation.
Oxygen carts can make transportation easier and safer for nearly any oxygen tank sizes