Portable Oxygen Therapy Options in 2015

If you need oxygen therapy, and you can't be bothered with sitting still for extended periods of time, you have a few different options for portable oxygen therapy. Which type of portable oxygen you choose depends on your lifestyle, your dosage needs, and what you can afford.

In 2015, you have more great options than you would have had in the past, as well as great deals and medical coverage on the things you'll need. Below is a list of the types of portable oxygen therapy equipment available right now. There is also a description of each one and how one might be more suitable for you than another.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Portable oxygen concentrators cost more up front, but they will save you money and hassle later on because you won't have to worry about getting tanks refilled. Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other health insurance plans usually, cover these items. They are also allowed to be used during commercial flights, as long as a particular model is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

One thing you would need to keep an eye on is keeping the batteries charged, and keeping an extra charged battery on hand. Some portable models offer both continuous flow settings and pulse dose settings. The highest setting of portable concentrators is 3 LPM, so if you need more than that, you will need to use a different option.

Stationary and Portable Combination

Some home oxygen systems combine a stationary unit with portable, refillable tanks, such as the Invacare Homefill. It comes with oxygen tanks that are only compatible with the home fill system, and they work just like other oxygen tanks that you can take with you on the go.

The only difference is you can refill your tanks at home! The fill station is itself an oxygen concentrator, only the oxygen it purifies is used to fill the tanks. It pulls the oxygen from around it and filters it inside the machine. This is a great way to save money and is a very convenient way to get portable oxygen therapy.

Compressed Oxygen Tanks

This is the most inexpensive method for getting portable oxygen therapy, and the most common. There are few downsides, however, such as the tanks being heavy and the need to bother with refills. They also need to always be kept upright, or you can run into issues with the tanks. Compressed oxygen is still in its gaseous state. You can take tanks anywhere, but you can't use them on a flight.

Liquid Oxygen Tanks

Oxygen turns to liquid at an extremely low temperature. In its liquid state, more of it can be put into a tank, and it would also weigh less than a tank of compressed oxygen. It's shelf life is shorter than compressed oxygen, however, since it will eventually evaporate. It's also more expensive than compressed oxygen. You may need to use liquid oxygen if you need to use oxygen therapy at a high dose, for many hours out of the day.

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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