The oxygen provided by home and portable concentrators is measured in LPM (liters per minute) for continuous flow, or the equivalent thereof in ml/min (milliliters per minute) in pulse dose oxygen. If you require oxygen therapy, your doctor will prescribe you a given oxygen flow rate such as 2 liters per minute. An oxygen flow rate of 2 LPM means the patient will have 2 liters of oxygen flowing into their nostrils over a period of 1 minute. Oxygen prescriptions generally run from 1 liter per minute to 10 liters per minute with 70% of those patients being prescribed 2 liters or less.
Continuous flow oxygen always flows from the cannula and never stops until the unit is turned off. Pulse dose oxygen is released in puffs of air, often referred to as a "bollus". Many portable models only have pulse dose settings, while some also offer continuous flow in lower settings.
Below is a summary of various liter flows for home and portable oxygen machines.
Portable Oxygen Concentrator Liter Flows
The AirSep Focus and AirSep Freestyle are two very small yet powerful portable oxygen concentrators. Even though they're very small, they can put out up to the equivalent of 3 LPM of pulse dose oxygen. They are also ideal for those who need oxygen therapy while exercising, and those who do a lot of traveling.
The Inogen One G3 and the Lifechoice Activox by Inova Labs are two more portable oxygen concentrators in the more lightweight category. Since they are a little bigger than the models previously mentioned, they are capable of having a higher oxygen output.
The larger and slightly heavier models, The Inogen One G2, AirSep Freestle 5 and Invacare XPO2, have a maximum output of the equivalent of 5 LPM. The Freestyle 5 is a great portable concentrator, because it still manages to stay small while still delivering this amount in the pulse dose equivalent.
These larger portable models have a total maximum capacity of 6 LPM (equivalent) – The Respironics EverGo and SimplyGo (pulse dose only), Sequal Eclipse, and the Igo by DeVilbiss. The Eclipse, for example, is one of the portable models that also features continuous flow settings up to 3 LPM. They also feature a high purity rate.
Home Oxygen Concentrator Liter Flows
Our one 2 LPM stationary oxygen concentrator, is the Respironics SimplyFlo. It only has two settings, 1 LPM and 2 LPM, but if this is all you need for a few hours daily or overnight, you can enjoy the small size and light weight of this concentrator, which weighs less than 9 lbs.
With the 5 LPM stationary oxygen concentrators, the Respironics EverFlo, Invacare Perfecto, and AirSep Visionaire, we're getting into the larger and heavier stationary oxygen concentrators that can only be used at home, while plugged into an AC power source. These are the concentrators necessary for those who need a higher dose of oxygen.
Sometimes it's necessary for a patient to receive anywhere from 5 LPM to 10 LPM of oxygen therapy, and that's where the AirSep Intensity 10, The Respironics Millenium 10, and the Invacare Platinum 10 come in. These powerful stationary models often offer other features, such as the ability to run a nebulizer as well.