January 27, 2003 at 9:58 PM CST - Updated August 26 at 11:30 PM
Margaret Victoria's severe respiratory problems have kept her close to home, until now. She says her new portable oxygen tank makes going places much easier.
"it is not as conspicuous the big tank is obviously a big stare."
Armed with a little blue bag that resembles a purse, her Total O-2 oxygen system weighs only 7 pounds and can last up to 8 hours. Sales representative Brian Gray says unlike the bulky 14 pound oxygen "E-tanks", the portable tanks allow patients to enjoy an active lifestyle.
"They are getting smaller, lighter, and last longer."
The smallest by far, is the three and a half pound Helios liquid oxygen system.
"The liquid allows you longer portability on smaller tanks."
The helios system is the size of a back pack. It carries about ten hours of oxygen before ever needing a refill from a large reservoir which holds up to a six week supply of liquid oxygen.
"Every time a person breathes in it turns on and release oxygen."
Another version of the Total O-2 oxygen tank uses a battery operated regulator that has a built in conserving device and it carries about 6 hours of oxygen.