Portable Oxygen Concentrators - What You Need to Know Before You Buy!

The information included in the following article has been shared by Roxlyn Cole, NHOPA Vice President, from American Medical Sales and Repair located in Centennial, CO and from “The Pulmonary Paper”.

Portable oxygen concentrators offer users an incredible amount of freedom that is often unavailable to those on oxygen therapy. A user may feel like mobility is limited and interferes with a lifestyle one was accustomed to. POCs (portable oxygen concentrators) give those who desire an active lifestyle the ability to keep up with family, friends and travel. However, that convenience comes at a price. A portable oxygen concentrator can be expensive depending on features and individual needs. It is important to consider your options carefully before making a purchase to ensure that you find the right device for you that will fit your needs. Before you commit to buying your own POC, visit all manufacturer websites to see what is available and to compare pricing through the designated dealers, AND ask to try it out before you buy it!

Here are some important questions to consider:

1. What exactly are your oxygen needs? How much oxygen is required for sitting, standing, walking and exertions such as shopping, brisk walking and/or exercise?
2. What do you plan to use your POC for? Traveling/flying? Walking/exercise? If it is for airline travel, you will need an FAA approved POC and one that offers sufficient battery life. If you are planning to travel frequently, you will also want a device that is compact in design and easier to maneuver around.
3. Will I be able to lift/carry a POC?
4. Do you plan to use your POC just during the day or do for sleeping? Do you use a CPAP mask?
5. Do you require continuous flow oxygen or will the pulse mode work for you?
6. How many hours do you plan on using your POC or being able to plug it in? How many multiple batteries will you need (Purchasing more than one battery will increase your cost.)?
7. Do you need a POC with a longer that 7 ft. cannula tube?
8. Will your POC have to support a humidifier bottle or nebulizer?
9. Investigate how to use the device and properly care for it without invalidating the warranty.
10. Lastly, it is highly recommended that you discuss the purchase and use of a POC with your physician, clinician and/or respiratory therapist as well as taking the unit for a “test drive”!!

Please contact us for any questions you have about oxygen concentrators.

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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