How they work
All oxygen concentrators work the same by extracting air from the room and converting it to a concentrated source of oxygen for the patient to breathe. This increases oxygen levels in the patient’s blood, which works to provide relief. The concentrator purifies air continuously to the patient and removes nitrogen to deliver oxygen-rich air to the patient through a nasal cannula.
The best part about a Portable Oxygen Concentrator is that it works off of a powered rechargeable battery or any AC/DC power source, so you can take your concentrator with you no matter where you go. Additionally, the portable concentrator does not require refills, as the air is continuously circulated through the machine rather than refilled by a supplier.
Benefits of using a POC
There are countless benefits to using an oxygen concentrator when it comes to your health. Using a concentrator can improve your daily health as well as increase your ability to perform daily tasks and stay active. Supplemental oxygen can increase survival, improve your sleep habits and can even increase your tolerance to exercise. An increased level of oxygen in your blood can boost your stamina, so you can get back to an active lifestyle without worrying about low energy or a decreased oxygen supply.
Choosing the right option
When selecting a portable oxygen concentrator, there are a few major factors to consider. Be sure to consult with your doctor to determine the exact plan for your oxygen therapy before making a firm decision.
- First, you will need to know what type of POC you require: a pulse dose (intermittent flow) or continuous flow device. Your doctor will prescribe one of the two flow settings.
- Make note of your oxygen needs for daily activities as well as your needs during periods of rest. Be sure that the oxygen flow rate on the concentrator can be adjusted to that setting.
- Know whether you will use your machine at home, on-the-go, or just during the night.
- Consider the size, weight and portability of the concentrator: do you want a travel-size POC? How lightweight do you want your POC to be?
Once your doctor has prescribed your daily oxygen requirements, you will need to choose the make and model of machine that you desire. Since there are so many POC’s on the market, it is important to investigate the pro’s and con’s of several different types of machine in order to find the best option to meet your needs.
Continuous Flow Concentrators
This device can produce up to 3 liters of oxygen per minute for a continuous supply. These are the more popular style of concentrators due to their ability to meet a wide variety of patient needs. Continuous flow is delivered based on the setting selected, which is measured in liters per minute.
Pulse Dose Concentrators
Pulse Dose Concentrators deliver oxygen to the patient intermittently, rather than at a steady pace. Oxygen is delivered upon inhalation when the patient needs it. Most Pulse Dose Concentrators can deliver anywhere from 450 -1250 mL of oxygen per minute.