Oxygen Concentrator Patient Teaching

If a doctor has recently diagnosed you with lung disease and found it necessary for you to use an oxygen concentrator, it is important to know how your future concentrator will work. Don't worry, learning about oxygen concentrators is pretty straightforward!

Oxygen Concentrators 101

There are two types of oxygen concentrators – portable and stationary.

Portable oxygen concentrators are alternatives to compressed oxygen tanks. They are ideal for patients who wish to retain an active lifestyle and enjoy life on the go while requiring oxygen therapy. Portable concentrators run off of batteries that are rechargeable off of either AC or DC power. Furthermore, as long as the portable machine has a source of power (AC, DC, or battery) the unit will continue to produce medical grade oxygen.

Stationary concentrators deliver medical grade oxygen to patients who need it for extended use in the home. Also known as home concentrators, these devices are meant to be used by patients in their homes for day and night-time use while portables are great for when a patient is away from home.

Both portable and stationary devices operate in the same fashion. They both provide medical grade oxygen by taking in room air through an intake vent and then cleaning and separating the other gasses from the oxygen. The oxygen is then compressed and then delivered to the patient via a cannula or mask.

Using an Oxygen Concentrator

Always follow the directions stated in the owners manual that comes with your oxygen device, but, here are some general tips, so you know what to expect.

As a safety measure, you should avoid using your oxygen concentrator near an open flame. While oxygen itself isn't flammable, it acts as an oxidizing agent and can increase the size of a flame rapidly if the two come into contact.

You should always use your concentrator on the setting that your doctor has prescribed. It should be treated just like any other prescription medication. If you have questions regarding the settings prescribed to you, speak to your doctor or pulmonologist for advice.

Traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator is wonderful, but it can take planning. Thinking ahead and making sure you have all the equipment you need can make your life much easier. Ensuring that all your batteries and chargers are fully working before you leave can help reduce any last minute stress or issues. It is always a good idea to bring a copy of your prescription with you when you travel; you never know when you may need it!

While learning about concentrators is important before you start using them, finding the one that fits your medical needs is the most important. If you would like help in finding the perfect solution, contact one of our Oxygen Specialists and they can point you in the right direction in no time!

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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