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Wheelchair News, Issue #005 -- Oxygen Tank Holders for Wheelchairs and Walkers
September 03, 2011

As I was trying to think of about something to write, it suddently hit me that I could write about the problem some of my clients have when learning to manage their oxygen tanks.

It got me to thinking about what types of holders there are and then, there are the different cylinder sizes and how to fasten the holder to the wheelchair or walker.



Oxygen Tank Holders

Oxygen tank holders come in various sizes and materials. Some are made of nylon while others are made of plastic or metal.

All power chairs are not made the same when it comes to needing an oxygen tank holder. Some really need specific holders depending upon the model of chair you have.

Oxygen tanks or cylinders come in different sizes as well. The most common size cylinder is the D or E cylinder. These are usually the size most people or health care facilities use as their “portable oxygen tanks”. The smaller M6 or M9 tanks are much more convenient to carry if you use a rollator (four wheeled walker with a seat) or a front wheeled walker.

Walking to the mail box or for a short walk in a skilled nursing home usually means that you are limited to having someone walk with you to manage your oxygen tank (or remove your oxygen when you shouldn’t and become short of breath). Those concerns can be alleviated if you are able to manage a small tank holder that can be attached to your walker.

Power Wheelchair Oxygen Tank Holders

Due to the various models of wheelchairs not all holders will fit your chair. If you have a Pride limited reclining power wheelchair and Invacare M51 power chair then you may be able to use the same cylinder holder with some assembly required.

Pride mobility manufactures an oxygen tank holder that holds both D and E size cylinders. It has an adjustment for the smaller D tank and can be used on the following Pride models: the Go-Go Elite Traveller, Rally, Revo, Victory, Celebrity, Legend and the Maxima.

The bracket located on the back of all Pride scooters accommodates one accessory at a time via the universal accessory holder.

The EZ Access Scooter Single Oxygen Carrier easily adjusts for the D or E cylinder with adjustable straps. It has a convenient hanging design with a carrying handle for easy removal. The long straps and buckle attachment adjust to fit most power wheelchairs. It is made of nylon with a reinforced bottom.

Manual Wheelchair Oxygen Tank Holders

Drive Medical produces a Universal wheelchair oxygen “E’ Cylinder holder which has a universal spacing sleeve that can be added or removed for a secure fit on most Drive Medical wheelchairs except the Cirrus and Viper, and on most other leading manufacturers wheelchairs. This holder is chrome.

Maddak Inc. manufactures a mini oxygen tank holder that carries M6 oxygen cylinders. It attaches to the handles and frame of the wheelchair, and places the tank so it does not interfere with the users head or back. It can accommodate two cylinders or one cylinder and miscellaneous supplies such as tubing and wrench. It is made of heavy duty waterproof nylon. Most bags and pouches are black in color.

Some are pouches or bags, made of nylon and attach to the wheelchair frame and handles via straps. Consumers report the weakness of many pouches is that they are made of thin nylon and are not durable.

Walker Oxygen Tank Holders

TOTE oxygen holders can hold the D, E or M9 sized cylinder. It attaches to the walker with two hook and loop fasteners and a safety buckle strap at the top and a centers strap near the bottom of the walker with a convenient pocket for the wrench. The TFI oxygen tank holder will fit on most walkers. It is recommended that at least front wheels are on your walker as this makes it easier to push your walker.

Keep in mind that a small oxygen tank will weigh a few pounds and it can cause your walker to tip forward when going over thresholds and uneven surfaces. On the benefits side it allows you to be independent and can go for a walk without having to rely on someone else to “handle your oxygen tank for you.” There is also an over the shoulder carrying case for small tanks. These require enough strength and balance to adjust to the weight of the tank while walking.

Lately, there have been new developments in oxygen equipment that make it much easier and convenient to use. Tanks are more portable and lightweight. Newer systems last longer. Oxygen systems are available either as continuous flow or intermittent flow. Intermittent flow systems are called conserving devices or pulse oxygen devices, which are breath-activated. The oxygen in the tank will last longer with a conserving device. This means that the oxygen tank can be used for longer periods of time with intermittent flow without the need to refill or change the tank.

The decision is yours. Whether you use a walker, wheelchair or power chair or scooter there are several styles and types of oxygen tank holders to choose from.

Your friend,

Marcie

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