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CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
#1
Question 
CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
I posted on here before.  Got a CPAP about 2-3 weeks and an Oxygen Concentrator at 2L (Invacare Perfecto2).   Seems to be working pretty well at 6000ft where I live near Denver.

Went up to the mountains this weekend.  We have a place up there that we go almost every weekend in the winter and a lot during the summer.  It's at around 9300 ft.
I didn't bring the Oxygen concentrator, because its too big.

I noticed that my CPAP results didn't seem as good up there and the pressure on my machine was higher.   I'm theorizing it could be a few possibilities:
  • Higher Altitude
  • I drank quite a bit
  • Lack of O2
or some combination of above.

Should I be raising my upper limit on my CPAP without O2 hooked up?  Maybe 14 or 16 or something?

Is it ok to go without O2 on the weekends?  The machine they gave me is big.  There seem to be smaller machines available.  I asked the DME, but they said for a travel machine, I would need to get a prescription for full-time O2.   I may be able to get the Dr. to give me that.  Are there other options?  Have people been able to get smaller machines in a different way?

Here are my results up in the mountains:
[Image: L9U3Ac0.png]

Here is at home last night:
[Image: WNGBwWh.png]
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#2
RE: CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
I have a lot of challenges with altitude - and live at a similar altitude to you in Denver.  I don't think an ahi of 2 is anything to worry too much over, but you could increase your pressure slightly.  

You've probably already noticed that there is a 2cm difference between your home and altitude charts and they seem to be obstructive which is good.  My obstructive events convert to centrals at altitude and raising the pressure is no help.  

As for the o2:  there are many services that deliver o2 to residences in the mountains for what I think are fairly reasonable rental rates.  

The other alternative is to duplicate your equipment and leave them in the mountains for when you are there.  That way you can set your cpap to a higher pressure and leave it.  

Either way, the mountains present issues for pap users.  One thing you don't have to worry about is machine effectiveness at altitude.  Resmed and Respironics devices work just fine over 10k ft for extended periods of time.
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#3
RE: CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
The O2 Concentrator has to be a continuous flow type. The portable sizes aren't that small. Average weight is 18-25lbs. They usually come with a cart like the kind made for suitcases. If your suppose to use O2 than it's probably not a good idea to leave it at home. It all depends on how your O2 levels are. Best way to know is use a recording oximeter during the night to keep track of your O2 levels.
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#4
RE: CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
(09-05-2017, 09:08 AM)Walla Walla Wrote: The O2 Concentrator has to be a continuous flow type. The portable sizes aren't that small. Average weight is 18-25lbs. They usually come with a cart like the kind made for suitcases. If your suppose to use O2 than it's probably not a good idea to leave it at home. It all depends on how your O2 levels are. Best way to know is use a recording oximeter during the night to keep track of your O2 levels.

Yeah.. Good point on the Oximeter.  I'll have to bring it up with me next time and measure and also try it without drinking.

I'm thinking maybe of raising my upper limit by a few points on the CPAP when I go up, also.

Wish I could get something like this..
Commercial Link Removed, instead do a search for Inogen Oxygen Concentrator.

Do you think it's worthwhile trying to contact the insurance company, Apria or my dr. to see if there is anything they can do, because I live in two places really?  or will they just tell me to suck it up and buy it myself, or buy a 2nd unit?

If I buy a smaller unit and return my rental O2 Concentrator, will the insurance company pay for some/all of the bought unit?








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#5
RE: CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
You can always ask your insurance I wouldn't count on it though. I know Tricare which is a lot like medicare won't buy one. They only rent one for your primary home.
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Advisory Members serve as an "Advisory Committee" to help shape Apnea Board's rules & policies.

Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.



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#6
RE: CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
I have had zero luck getting insurance to pay for equipment because high altitude isn't my primary residence.  Your mileage may vary.   But I suspect they'll tell you to pay out of pocket or lug it up.  

I agree with walla walla, you should not be going without o2 at those altitudes. You need it in denver and the relative is po2 at 9300 ft is much lower.
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#7
RE: CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
I called Apria and they said if I had a prescription for a portable unit, then they would take it.  I'm going to keep the home unit for a while longer and then in a month or so, when I talk to my Dr., maybe see if I can get a prescription for a portable unit.
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#8
RE: CPAP at Altitude and Oxygen concentrator, Options for portable unit?
Well this is interesting. One of the foreign call center reps for Apria made a mistake and thought I wanted to exchange my Oxygen Concentrator for another one. So I got a call from Apria and talked to a live US person.

Anyway.. this person was really knowledgeable. They talked to the local branch for me and are going to set me up with a 2nd Oxygen concentrator for no extra charge at my 2nd location. Now I just need to find a place to stick this thing in a 500 Sqft condo.
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