Meet Your Oxygen Needs with Pulse Dose and Continuous Concentrators

Some people who need oxygen therapy need a lot more than others to achieve the right oxygen saturation, and the pulse settings on some brands of oxygen concentrators can be misleading. This is why you need to be especially carefully when shopping for an oxygen concentrator to meet your oxygen needs.

The flow settings on portable oxygen concentrators with pulse dose settings of 1 – 5, for example, aren't necessarily the LPM or liter flow that you would get with a continuous flow concentrators, or compressed or liquid oxygen. You have to be careful and read the bolus sizes (the oxygen pulse sizes) and make sure this will be enough for you for each breath.

Other things you need to consider are how high the oxygen purity is, and if the concentrator has a good reserve for when you are exerting more energy, begin taking more breaths and suddenly requiring more oxygen.

You will likely find many small oxygen concentrators on the market that promise to take care of your oxygen needs, when they are too low and nowhere near the capacity that you need. We carry portable oxygen concentrators that are made for people with high flow needs, but we still encourage you to be very selective, and not choose one just because it's very small and light.

Continuous flow is measured in Liters Per Minute (LPM), and pulse doses are measured in milliliter increments. Portable oxygen concentrators that put out continuous flow as well as pulse dose tend to be larger than those that only have pulse dose settings. The higher capacity it has of oxygen flow, the larger the machine has to be. You may find yourself needing a home oxygen concentrator if you need a high flow of oxygen.

The SeQual Eclipse delivers both a continuous flow with the settings from 0.5 to 3.0 Liters Per Minutes in .5 increments, and pulse dose settings of 16 - 96 in 16 ml increments, 128, 160 and 192 ml. It has AutoSAT technology, and it searches for a drop in pressure every 15 seconds, detecting when you are about to take a breath. This is one of our best portable concentrators for people who need a higher pulse or a continuous flow.

One of the other portable models that offers both continuous and pulse dose, is the SimplyGo from Respirionics. The pulse dose settings range from 12 ml to 72 ml, and the continuous flow settings are from 0.5 to 2 LPM, in 0.5 increments. This has a smaller capacity than the Eclipse, but it is great for people who are very active.

The best thing to do is consult with your physician when you are shopping for an oxygen concentrator. Your pulmonary specialist knows exactly how large of an oxygen flow you need at any given time, and he understands how the settings and bolus sizes work. If you and your physician need more help in finding the right oxygen concentrator that accommodates what you need, feel free to call one of our representatives. They're there to talk you through the specifications of each concentrator, its features and how high of a flow it can deliver when you need it.

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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