Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is an illness that affects visitors of high altitude environments (typically above 8000 ft), and particularly those sleeping overnight at altitude. AMS is caused by reduced air pressure and the accompanying lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. Common symptoms include difficulty sleeping, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Many sufferers describe AMS as similar to a severe hangover, but lasting several days or more.

  • AMS can afflict any visitor sleeping higher than 6000 feet above sea level. In Colorado, up to 40% of visitors sleeping at 8000ft or higher get AMS, with the greatest incidence occurring at the highest resorts (altitidemedicine.org). High Altitude Headache (HAH) is the most frequent symptom afflicting up to 80% of high altitude sojourners (JOTM hypoxia related altitude illness). Just one additional AMS-associated symptom is commonly required for a diagnosis of AMS. The lowest base altitude of the Summit County resorts is Keystone at 9200 ft. If you’re sleeping in Summit County or surrounding areas, you’re at risk.

  • Not necessarily, while BMI has been linked to the development of AMS in some studies, physical fitness has not been shown to have any effect on the development of AMS. Your body requires sufficient oxygen to perform. Supplemental oxygen can increase your stamina during physical exertion, reduce lactic acid build-up muscle fatigue, and improve sleep quality and duration. Furthermore, some data suggests male gender may increase the likelihood of developing AMS. More consistent indicators of AMS include:

    Sleeping Altitude: When you sleep your respirations slow, further exacerbating AMS and AMS symptoms. Periodic breathing, apneas, hypoventilation etc can all contribute to AMS or worsening AMS symptoms

    Rate of ascent: Did you drive straight to the resort? Worse yet, did you fly? Along with sleeping altitude and personal history of mountain illness this is one of the most effective predictors of AMS occurrence.

    Physical Activity: Plan on being active in the mountains the first day or two? Of course you do! Unfortunately physical activity increases your chances of AMS. History of AMS-have you had AMS or HAH (high altitude headache) before? You are likely to get it again.

  • The prevalence of oxygen bars, retail oxygen canisters, and all the research point to one undeniable fact: Altitude Illness is a serious problem in mountain towns, and it’s one that is uncomfortable at best and deadly at worst. Unfortunately the key cause of AMS is not addressed by oxygen bars or retail air canisters. Short-term consumption of oxygen provides short-term improvements. To maximize the advantages of supplemental oxygen it is highly recommended you administer a steady stream throughout the night when your respirations become both slower and shallower. In fact, a recent study suggests that the drop in oxygen levels in your blood specifically while you sleep is likely the key cause of AMS.

  • Hypoxia simply explained is a lack of oxygen. Your cells, tissues, and body altogether need oxygen. When you’re in a deficient environment, your body is deficient as well. Hypoxemia is an abnormally low oxygen concentration in your blood. Temporary increases in blood oxygen may help you feel better for a short time...that said, the most common onset and worsening of AMS symptoms tends to occur the morning after sleeping at altitude. Recent studies indicate an association between the development of AMS and the dip of oxygen in your blood at night. In short, if you become hypoxic at night you’re likely to develop AMS.

  • Bluebird Oxygen serves all of Summit and Eagle County. This includes Keystone, Breckenridge, Copper, Vail, and Beaver Creek. In addition to the large ski resorts with ski-in/ski-out lodging Bluebird delivers to individuals staying in the surrounding towns like Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, and Blue River in Summit County, as well as Avon, Edwards, and Minturn on the Eagle side.

  • No problem! Bluebird delivers, and picks up, all over Summit and Eagle Counties. Bluebird Oxygen provides tried-and-true oxygen concentrators along with the appropriate supplies for you and your family to sleep comfortably while a nasal cannula delivers a steady stream of oxygen all night long.

  • An oxygen concentrator is a small compressor that filters nitrogen etc out of the surrounding air and concentrates the remaining oxygen for delivery via a nasal cannula or mask.

  • Reversing the effects of altitude illness is much more difficult than prevention. Bluebird Oxygen is not a medical provider, we do not provide medical treatment. Once you have developed AMS or AMS symptoms you need medical treatment from a licensed practitioner. Medical Treatment costs, not just money, but time. What’s your vacation time worth? Once you have AMS the entire complexion of your vacation changes. Why not do your best to avoid AMS and AMS associated symptoms altogether?

  • Oxygen Concentrators are actually quite simple to set up and use. Bluebird Oxygen provides everything you need to have a successful rental. Video tutorials and written instructions are provided in a kit along with all the supplies you’ll need for your entire party. You’ll simply fill the bubble humidifier with water, screw it on, attach the extension tubing, and then attach a cannula...that’s it! In fact, if you’re at your residence at the time of delivery, we’ll be happy to set your concentrator(s) up and provide a quick tutorial.

  • No, Bluebird Oxygen is not a medical oxygen provider and we do not fill medical prescriptions for oxygen. Please seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional if you need assistance with a medical oxygen prescription.

  • At 9000 ft above sea level you’re breathing approximately ⅓ less oxygen that you would at sea level, supplementing that deficiency with concentrator-grade oxygen in an alpine environment is not only safe, but extremely beneficial.

  • Bluebird Oxygen includes a bubble humidifier with every concentrator to ensure comfort during sleep.

  • Bluebird Oxygen has specifically selected the Drive 525DS as our preferred oxygen concentrator. The 525DS is an home-use concentrator easily moved around your residence via the built-in mobile casters. The unit has specifically been tested for use in high-altitude environments, it boasts one of the smallest footprints, quietest operating noise, and one of the lightest weights when compared to units in the same class.

  • If notified at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled delivery Bluebird Oxygen will refund your entire rental price. Under 24 hours notice, our 2-day minimum rental fee may be assessed. If after your first night of use you are not satisfied with your concentrator experience and would like to return the unit please notify us by 10:00 am MT the day after you received the unit and we will provide you with a 100% refund upon return of the unit.

  • All of our oxygen concentrator units are inspected, cleaned and tested to ensure a safe and reliable experience. All of our ancillary supplies are individually packaged and single-use only.

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