Just recently, Caleb Umstead, Director of Customer Education at 1st Class Medical, was interviewed on the talk show First Coast Living by the Emmy Award winning television host, Casey Black DeSantis. In this interview, which can be seen above, Casey DeSantis talks with Caleb Umstead about the LifeChoice Activox portable oxygen concentrator, our new program Helping Heroes with Operation Orion, and COPD. To learn more about our Helping Heroes program or to donate to the program, there is a link on the bottom of the page that you can click on. Below is a transcript of the interview.
Casey Black DeSantis, First Coast Living T.V. Show Host- It is one of the most common lung disease right now nearly 1 million Floridians are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also known as COPD and many those patients require carrying around those big oxygen tanks. Our next guest has a solution that can make breathing a lot easier. Please welcome to the show Caleb Umstead. He's with 1st Class Medical, thank you for being here. Before we get into what you brought with us today let's talk about COPD because I'm sure everybody's seen the commercials with the big elephant you know sitting on somebody's chest but what does it mean to have COPD?
Caleb Umstead, Director of Patient Education at 1st Class Medical- COPD itself is, as you said earlier was, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which can consist of emphysema, lung cancer, it's kind of a catch-all for a lot of things. You have Alpha-One which is a genetic disease, but the thing about COPD is that in most cases it is preventable, but there is no cure. So the only thing that we can do for patients once diagnosed with COPD is to basically do lifestyle changes, get on medications like inhalants and bronchiosteroids things like that. And so that one other therapies that is that we've been used to is as you can see is the big heavy oxygen tanks.
Casey DeSantis- Yeah, because you have to be on oxygen all the time, or a lot of the day, or?
Caleb Umstead- It just depends sometimes it’s only at altitude, sometimes it is just during exercise.
Casey DeSantis- But you don’t know when this is going to happen so you have to have that near you.
Caleb Umstead- Right, so once you've been diagnosed with the need for supplemental oxygen therapy then traditionally this is the therapy that you get. Which would be numerous cylinders not just one, but probably five or ten.
Casey DeSantis- So what you guys have done is try to compact that because that is so large and laborious to try to carry this thing around with you. Show us what you guys have created.
Caleb Umstead- Now this is what we call the LifeChoice Activox. This is actually manufactured in Austin, Texas. What this does is, it’s a portable oxygen concentrator and it basically takes room air, concentrates it down, and eliminates the nitrogen so that you have medical grade oxygen. So whereas we need to keep resupplying oxygen tanks whereas this, this runs on lithium battery. So what we can do is; plug it into the car, we can plug it into the house, and we can recharge your battery so that it is what we call a boundary-less oxygen system.
Casey DeSantis- It’s changed lives for a lot of people
Caleb Umstead- Absolutely
Casey DeSantis- I’m sure. You guys are doing something, a new program you started helping heroes breathe easier. Talk about that title, Helping Heroes who are you specifically referring to? I'm assuming it's our military.
Caleb Umstead- Absolutely absolutely, I'm a veteran myself from the United States Air Force. So one other things it we really wanted to do was, the VA traditionally hands out 20 to 30 of these oxygen tanks and so one of the things that we really been trying to do is get these into veteran’s hands and we've done that through the VA hospital. So we're trying to reach out to as many veterans and facilities that we can so that they understand that these devices are available. So we're in the beginning stages of that and one of the things that Congressman Yoho has been very adamant about is making sure the veterans get what they need. He's been a big help for that and so it's just about getting the need and the awareness out.
Casey DeSantis- Yeah, holding the VA accountable that’s something that's very important to a lot of members in congress and also making sure that yes you especially yourself and all the veterans who might be watching that if they need these, absolutely we should do everything we can to get them in their hands. It's the least we can do! Let me ask you this, where can somebody go to find one of these things? Can they buy them from you directly? Is it covered by insurance?
Caleb Umstead- Absolutely, now these you can purchase them sometimes it depends on the coverage love your insurance medicare your blue cross blue shield they have specific criteria so 10 things I always recommend is to call your insurance carrier and see if they cover the other side is that we tell people all the time you have freedom is expensive with people giving their lives whether it is. So what you find is these devices give you freedom. They don't limit you to being home bound to a home concentrator or two tanks for the lunch box absolutely and so what you'll see is when someone gets this their exercising more they're actually traveling more they're going to see the grand kids are going to see the granddaughter graduate high school or graduate college and so the the actual emotional connection between this and the family becomes a little bit easier to deal with they can travel and do things they want to do.
Casey DeSantis- What is the name in this device one more time in case someone’s watching and they want to write it down?
Caleb Umstead- This is the LifeChoice Activox
Casey DeSantis- Oh okay, Thank you Caleb. Thank you for your service by the way. We appreciate what you’re doing to help the veterans. A lot of people of course we hear at First Coast Living and myself thank you for what you do.
Caleb Umstead- Thank you.
Casey DeSantis- And thank you to First Coast, or 1st Class Medical I should say. I was going to say First Coast Living. 1st Class Medical for sponsoring this segment and for more information you can visit www.1stclassmed.com it is right there on your screen.+Duke Reeves