A Easy Read On Portable O2
Some of you want to know more about oxygen cylinders, their weight and capacity, so here it is.
There are five cylinders typically used with portable oxygen systems. The smallest is the M-6 or B cylinder which is about the size and appearance of a wine bottle. The other four have the same "footprint" as the E cylinder, which is the one you commonly see being trailed in a cart.
The shortest of these four is the ML6. [Your provider will probably not stock both the M-6 and ML6.] Next tallest is the M-9 (or C) cylinder, followed by the D cylinder. The E cylinder is the tallest.
Here is how much compressed oxygen and how long each will last under continuous flow of 1 Lpm:: M-6 = 164 L (2.5 hrs.), ML6 = 170 L (2.6 hrs.), M-9 = 248 L (4.1 hrs.), D = 425 L (7.05 hrs.), and E = 680 L (11.1 hrs.).
The E cylinder is designed for trailing in a cart. Only the most hardy of us would try to carry the D cylinder, so for most of us, really portable oxygen means using the M-6 (or ML6) or the M-9 cylinder.
The carrying weight, including the regulator, conserver, and carrying bag is about 5 lbs. for the M-6, 6 lbs. for the ML6, and 8 lbs. for the M-9, not including extra washers, connectors, battery, wrench, and copy of your prescription that you must carry, but also change, cell phone, etc. which you might carry. You can select a bag that hold the cylinder in a vertical position, a bag called "log" bags that allow the cylinder to be transported horizontally, or a bag which you can carry on your back. [Only the CR 50 requires a special bag.]
I am providing this so you can make an informed decision about the cylinder that is best for your life style. Do not let vanity get in the way. Do not try to carry a system that is too heavy for you. That will contribute to your breathlessness.
You should make your decision based on a combination of how much you can carry, if anything, and the duration you might expect from a cylinder. You need not select only one type. Your oxygen provider will provide you with more than one type. I have a friend who pulls an E cylinder one day and carries an M-6 on another day, depending on what he is doing.
Remember, the bottom line is that the portable oxygen system you choose provides you with the oxygen you need. Monitor your oxygen needs and report to your physician when you believe your equipment is not meeting those needs.
Peter M. Wilson of Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA http://portableoxygen.org
Mr. WIlson is working on his site, the link above, so visit often. (K)