The home oxygen program provides equipment set up, education and ongoing service for people who need oxygen in the home.
Oxygen is used to help people when their blood is not able to get enough oxygen from breathing only air. There are many diseases that can cause this problem, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer.
What to expect
A designated oxygen company will perform a detailed initial respiratory assessment in your home. The company's representative will check the equipment and home environment and explain how to use the equipment properly and safely.
- Some people will need respiratory assessment. The company will provide ongoing support, including responding to equipment malfunction and maintenance and providing oxygen deliveries.
- Oxygen may be a temporary treatment or a longer-term treatment. You will be assessed by the health authority’s respiratory therapist a month or so after the oxygen company sets you up. The assessment is to ensure that you continue to receive the correct levels of oxygen and if you need to remain on the program and will involve repeat testing of your blood oxygen levels while at home.
Once you qualify for the program, respiratory therapists from one of our contracted suppliers will come into your home to set up equipment, show you how to use it, and provide ongoing service.
They are also there to talk to you about your blood oxygen levels, help answer your questions, discuss your needs and provide ongoing assessment as long as you need it.
HOP will inform physicians, clients, and oxygen suppliers of your assessment, any adjustments to the subsidy or supply system if needed, and other recommendations. If you still require oxygen, your next appointment will be discussed with you at that time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a cost for the home oxygen program?
If you are eligible for this service, we will cover the cost of your oxygen. If you have extended health benefits, the HOP will pay for the cost not covered by your plan.
What happens next if I was reevaluated and I no longer need home oxygen?
Once it has been decided you no longer need oxygen, your respiratory therapist will contact you. The oxygen company will also contact you to set up a time for pick-up. If you want to continue to get home oxygen you can contact the oxygen company and pay privately.
Some people will be reassessed within 1-2 months following funding discontinuation.
Safety precautions when using home oxygen
Every person will be told about safety precautions. Smoking-related incidents are most common; however, cooking, open fires, and candles also present risks.
If you smoke, we prefer you to quit. However, if you do smoke, you need to stay at least five (5) feet away from oxygen equipment and tubing. It is not safe to just remove the tubing from your nose, put it on your lap, and smoke right there- you need to step away from the oxygen first.
Other smokers must also remain at least five feet away from you if you are not smoking or are a non-smoker. Unfortunately, we have experienced too many avoidable fires and burns from people who do not follow safe practices; the danger is very real.
For questions about your equipment or deliveries, please call your oxygen company.
Please call us if you have other questions or want to talk about your subsidy or oxygen company.
Our hours are Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed on holidays.
Find this service near you
Long term care homes
George Pearson Centre700 West 57th Avenue Vancouver