Once you have your portable or stationary oxygen concentrator, there are a few safety and maintenance facts you should know about it. Here are the most important do's and don'ts you'll need to keep in mind. Of course, this is a reference and you shouldn't hesitate to ask us any questions you might have.
DO Change the Filter Yearly
The gross particle filter needs to be changed once a year on average. After this amount of time, it will start to get worn out, and won't be able to do its job properly. The gross particle filter has a very important function in the workings of an oxygen concentrator. It catches the dirt and dust, so you won't be breathing in dirty oxygen, and so these particles won't start to jam up the inner workings of the concentrator.
DO Change the Cannula at least Every Month
Even though you should wash the cannula at least once a week, it will also start to degrade over time. Not only do you not want a cannula that is falling apart, but the small pores and cracks that form in rubber will hold bacteria.
DO Run your POC at least 4 hours each Month
Even if you don't need to use it all that often, or if you only use it for travel, you should run your portable oxygen concentrator for 4 hours each month. Just like most electronics with a rechargeable battery, it can actually prolong its life to run it for a few hours in a row. If you usually just use your stationary concentrator at home, use your portable unit one day out of the month for at least 4 hours.
DO Completely Drain your Batteries at least once a Month
This will actually prolong the life of your portable oxygen concentrator's rechargeable batteries, whether they are internal or external. Charge up your battery or batteries all the way, and then let them completely die. You shouldn't do this all the time, but doing it once a month will be enough to keep your batteries in top shape for as long as possible.
DO Treat your Portable Oxygen Concentrator the same way you would a Laptop Computer
Laptop batteries and their general portability make them very similar to portable oxygen concentrators. Try to keep the unit clean so dirt or dust cannot enter the machine and cause problems. You have to keep them dry and free of any moisture build-up. Even a few drops inside of a laptop will cause serious damage. If possible; keep the unit in its protective case.
DO Call American Medical if you have any Questions!
You can call our number at 1-877-774-9271 to talk to one of our oxygen specialists. They will be happy to answer any questions you have about maintenance of your oxygen concentrator. Click here to receive a FREE Oxygen Consultation!
DON'T Leave your Portable Oxygen Concentrator in a Hot Car
Whether its in use or not, you should never let your portable oxygen concentrator get overheated, or risk serious damage to the inner or outer parts. Aside from cars, you should be sure to store your concentrator anywhere that will not become too hot. Your concentrator's manual will specify a maximum storage temperature, as well as a maximum operational temperature.
DON'T Get your Oxygen Concentrator Wet
If you're outside and it starts to rain, your portable oxygen concentrator's protective carry case will protect it from rain drops while you can seek shelter. Just like any other electronic, it doesn't mix well with any kind of moisture.
DON'T Run the Concentrator without using it (doesn’t apply to continuous flow)
Your pulse dose oxygen concentrator releases a “bolus” or puff of oxygen according to your breath rate. It actively seeks and senses your breathing through the air pressure of your breath, and that's when it knows to release a bolus. This means the concentrator's sensors are very sensitive. If you're not there breathing and telling it when to release, it will begin to run down the battery and the concentrator itself much quicker. Running any oxygen concentrator when you're not using it will cause it to run down much more quickly.
DON'T Leave your Oxygen Concentrator in small space
A running oxygen concentrator can quickly deplete the oxygen in a small space, which will quickly become dangerous to you, and any other people or animals with you. You should also never run it close to other objects, as it will cause the concentrator to overheat. Always make sure there is at least 10 inches of space around the concentrator while it's running.
DON'T Smoke around an Oxygen Concentrator
This is actually potentially very dangerous. You should never smoke while using an oxygen concentrator, and you should stay at least 8 feet away from others who are smoking. A spark can quickly become a flame when fed by pure oxygen. If a small hot ash from a cigarette were to land on a surface, and come in contact with the oxygen from your concentrator, it has the potential to go out of control very quickly.
DON'T Leave your questions unanswered
One thing you should definitely never do is sit and wonder what you should do in any situation involving your oxygen concentrator. Your oxygen concentrator is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will ever own, and you should take all the proper precautions in caring for it and maintaining it. You can call our number at 1-877-774-9271 to talk to one of our oxygen specialists.