A Comparative Pilot Study of Three Portable Oxygen Concentrators

A Comparative Pilot Study of the Efficacy of Three Portable Oxygen Concentrators during a 6-minute Walk Test in Patients with Chronic Lung Disease.

Rationale: While use of portable oxygen concentrators (POC) is likely to increase, research is limited on the ability of POC’s to maintain oxygen saturation ≥ 90% during exercise.

Objective: To compare the efficacy of 3 POC’s, with the highest O2 capacity in maintaining exertional O2 saturations ≥ 90% in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF).

Methods: Patients who were O2 dependent and within 2 years post pulmonary rehabilitation were invited to participate.

Inclusion criteria

Medically stable
R/A exertional
Desaturation ≤ 85%

Exclusions criteria
Require .6 L/min of oxygen
Conditions limiting walking ability
Significant cognitive or memory deficit

Six minute walk tests (6_MWTs) were administered, monitoring pulse oximetry (Sp02) . A control 6-MWT was performed with the participants’ current 02 system and prescribed exercise flow rate. A cross over design was used. Participants randomly performed a 6-MWT with each of the 3 POCs at the max pulse dose setting and stopped if their SP02 was ≤ 85%. A self admin, questionnaire was completed after each walk.

Study POCS

No financial support was received from the manufactures/distributors.

Results: Ten participants (5 male, 5 female, average 67.1 +/- 7.6 years old.) were included (9 COPD, 1PF). On average, the Eclipse 3 resulted in the highest Sp02 at each time point and corresponded with increased total time and total distance walked. Significant differences in Sp02 excisted between the Eclipse 3 and all other POCs ( p <0.05).

Sp02 before and after 6-MWT

Questionnaire Responses

Conclusions: All POCs increased Sp02 during exertional walk but only the Eclipse 3 resulted in mean SPo2 ≥ 90%.

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