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Q: Alternatives to oxygen concentrators ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: Alternatives to oxygen concentrators
Category: Health > Seniors
Asked by: abader-ga
List Price: $150.00
Posted: 24 Oct 2005 14:35 PDT
Expires: 23 Nov 2005 13:35 PST
Question ID: 584371
I am looking for alternatives to Oxygen concentrators for home use. 
I'm wondering if there's something like an oxygen tent without the tent! 
I have found many different kinds of Oxygen concentrators like the
ones on this website:,
but they're not what we're looking for.

We need this for an elderly person who needs oxygen while sleeping,
but does not like the mask. We would like info on our options and
where we can purchace "it".

Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 24 Oct 2005 16:22 PDT
Hello abader-ga,

Please clarify what you mean by ?but does not like the mask?? An
oxygen concentrator, including the ones from your link, delivers the
oxygen through a nasal cannula or tube. Is this what you mean when you
say ?mask?? You also say you?d like an ?oxygen tent without the tent.?
I thought you said the problem was the ?mask.? It sounds like you?re
looking for a tent or a device that does not require the delivery
mechanism to touch the person. Does the elderly person need oxygen
support only at night? What has the doctor prescribed?

I look forward to your clarification.

~ czh ~

Request for Question Clarification by umiat-ga on 24 Oct 2005 16:42 PDT
I have seen references to oxygen tents, especially for children. They
involve a piece of plastic held up by a frame which is centered over
the patient's head, and into which oxygen or humidified air is pumped.
Is this the type of device you are seeking? Since you have mentioned
an oxygen tent "without the tent", I am a bit confused. It seems that
if you don't want a loose tent, and dont'want a mask or cannula, then
your only alternative is to create an oxygenated "room". That would be
a task!

Clarification of Question by abader-ga on 24 Oct 2005 17:39 PDT
The person needs oxygen only at night while she sleeps. She is
currently using a small oxygen concentrator, which the doctor has
prescribed. She is using a nasal tube but it makes her feel
uncomfortable (and she keeps pulling it out), and she refuses to use a
mask that covers her nose and mouth. An oxygen tent that covers her
whole will definitely not make her happy either. So we are trying to
find out if there are any other options available, something that
works like a humidifier for example, or something that does not cover
the whole body and that delivers oxygen without having to touch her as
you said, maybe something that can be set up above her head without
covering it? Does anything like this exist?

Request for Question Clarification by umiat-ga on 24 Oct 2005 20:17 PDT
I have seen a few references to oxygen tents, primarily for children,
but nothing for adults and nothing for sale. Have you consulted the
patient's physician for suggestions?

Please see the references I have posted under the comments.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 25 Oct 2005 04:17 PDT
The only alternative I can think of would be to oxygenate the ambient
air around the bed with a large-volume oxygen delivery system that can
be easily flow-regulated and turned on and off at the appropriate

The best bet -- since this would require a lot of oxygen -- would be a
large, standing tank of medical-grade liquid oxygen.  The tank could
be placed near the bed, and set to deliver a steady stream of O2
during the night right in the vicinty of the bed.

It would take someone very familiar with the tanks to recommend an
appropriate flow-rate, and to give you an estimate of how long a
single tank would last with, say, 8 hours per night of flow.

Here's an example of one system for home use:

You can see that it's primarily intended for use as a portable unit,
refilled from a stand-up reservoir.  However, the company providing
the liquid oxygen may be able to readily modify their system for the
use you have described.

However, at any combination of flow rate and use, the tank would not
last very long.  I imagine it would need refilling at least once a
week or so, if not more.

Does that sound workable?

Let me know what you think.


Clarification of Question by abader-ga on 25 Oct 2005 10:26 PDT
To oxygenate the air around her would be perfect. If we can do that
safely it would be great. Thanks very much, we'll discuss the options
you have all given me with her and her physician.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 25 Oct 2005 10:42 PDT
Great.  Let us know how things work out.

Also, let us know if there's any additional information you need to
make for a complete answer to your question.

All the best,


Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 25 Oct 2005 14:43 PDT
Hello again abader-ga,

The problem you posed is challenging and it would seem there would be
others who would be interested in the solution you?re looking for.
I?ve done extensive research and I haven?t found any examples of
increasing ambient oxygen for home oxygen therapy. It?s simply not
practical. Here are some resources that discuss the available options
at great length. It seems that there are no home oxygen therapies that
don?t require the use of either cannula or mask. Safety and cost seem
to be the main issues for not developing tents or other systems that
would negate the need for the more invasive delivery systems.
Home Oxygen Options
Patient Interfaces
Guide to Prescribing Home Oxygen

I found that the possibility of oxygenating whole rooms is being
investigated for high altitude locations where raising the oxygen
level to what is normal for lower altitudes is necessary to help
people who have to work at higher altitudes. Safety is not an issue
here as it is with oxygenating a room above normal levels.
Nocturnal Room Oxygen Enrichment Improves Sleep Ventilation & Well
Being Following Rapid Ascent To High Altitudes

The opposite problem is solved with tent systems to reduce ambient
oxygen for people who want to train for high altitude activities.
GO2Altitude hypoxicators

Simulated altitude training has recently become the focus of 
attention for many athletes, looking for a legal and drug-free
alternative to improve their endurance performance and to get that
vital edge over the competition.

Two main practical approaches  have been rigorously tested and are
currently used by athletes world-wide: Sleeping in an ?altitude tent?
and Intermittent Hypoxic Training (IHT). Below is a description of
these two methods.

I hope that the resources for assessing the possibilities for oxygen
therapy for your elderly person is helpful. Please let us know if you
would like further information about the available options for night
time oxygen therapy.

Wishing you well.

~ czh ~

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 07 Nov 2005 09:03 PST

Hello....just checking in.

Have you been able to make any progress with your oxygen situation?

What sort of additional information would you like from the
researchers here at this point?

Let us know, when you have a moment.

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Alternatives to oxygen concentrators
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Oct 2005 15:03 PDT
A Japanese company, Shenpix, recently exhibited a home oxygen tent at
the Tokyo Health Fair:

"The star attraction of the show was the Shenpix home oxygen tent,
which looks like an inflated sleeping bag and encloses its occupant in
an oxygen-rich atmosphere.",,3-1530265,00.html
Subject: Re: Alternatives to oxygen concentrators
From: abader-ga on 24 Oct 2005 16:12 PDT
Thanks for the reply. I checked out the link you sent, but I don't
think that product is intended for medical purposes. We're looking for
an alternative to an oxygen machine with a mask, something that is
more comfortable.
Subject: Re: Alternatives to oxygen concentrators
From: umiat-ga on 24 Oct 2005 20:17 PDT
Healthtouch online describes an oxygen tent used for a child that
could possibly be adapted for an adult:

"An oxygen tent is a bendable piece of clear plastic held over your
child's bed or crib by a frame. The plastic is then tucked under the
mattress. It may also be called a croup, mist, or Ohio tent. Oxygen or
regular air is blown into the tent. Oxygen is a colorless gas you
cannot smell that is a very important part of the air we breathe. If
oxygen is blown into the tent, the air around your child is much
higher in oxygen than normal. The tent also lets your child move
around on his bed without having to wear an oxygen mask."
...."Mist and drops of water can gather on the inside of the tent if
humidity is being used. This can make it hard to see your child. Tell
caregivers and they can wipe the inside of the tent clear."

PubMed makes reference to an open-top oxygen tent used for pediatric
patients that can be made from materials from a local hardware store.
However, there are no instructions or guidelines for oxygen


Blow-by oxygen for children in a hospital setting is mentioned in the
following article on, but again, there are no instructions.

"A mist or oxygen tent has long been used to treat children who are
hospitalized, but there use has been decreased because it makes it
harder for the hospital staff to observe the child and notice if he is
getting worse. Instead, blow by oxygen or cool mist may be used."


A "face tent/shield" is suggested as being better tolerated than a face mask:

Face Tent/Shield 
High-flow, soft plastic "bucket" over nose and mouth 
Better tolerated than face mask 
Delivers only 40% Oxygen at 10-15 liters per minute
Subject: Re: Oxygen Alternatives
From: barbann1-ga on 17 Jun 2006 16:36 PDT
My father 87, has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and also has COPD. He
is supposed to wear oxygen at night but continually takes it off
during the  night complaining that it bothers him. I feel that
anything on his face will not be tolerated. He has begun to
demonstrate increasing confusion, and dementia. Doctor feels it is due
to oxygen deprivation rather than the AD. So I am also in search of an
alternative to any sort of face aperatus.
If I can construct a tent of sorts that would surround the entire bed,
does anyone know how much oxygen it would take to meet his needs or
where I can go to find out?

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