Desert Medical adds liquid oxygen

Saturday, September 30, 2006

LAS VEGAS - Desert Medical Equipment, a Las Vegas provider that caters to high-profile hotels like the Bellagio, added liquid oxygen reservoirs to its rental resume in August.
"Now we do everything oxygen-related," said owner Bryan Schultz, who also rents scooters and wheelchairs from his prominent location on the Strip. "We saw a big need for it. We were turning people away, and now we don't have to."
Desert Medical provides a variety of liquid oxygen services, depending on a user's needs. The most common scenario: The company will drop off a reservoir filled with liquid oxygen at a user's hotel, and the user will fill his own portable tank as needed.
A reservoir typically rents for anywhere from $100 to $200 per week, depending on the company, Shultz said. Users can also visit a provider like Desert to have their tanks topped off with liquid oxygen for anywhere from $1.50 to $4 per pound, he said.
While the industry estimates only a small percentage of oxygen patients use liquid, that's changing, Shultz said. Once patients realize the longevity of liquid oxygen--a portable tank with four pounds of liquid oxygen can last up to two days--and the independence it provides, they begin to request it, he said.
Schultz admits it's more expensive for providers to supply liquid oxygen services to patients, but Desert's move has already begun to pay off. He estimates the company now provides liquid oxygen services to up to 25 patients a month.