What You Need to Know About Using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

A portable oxygen concentrator is necessary if you need to use oxygen for most of the day or all day. There are some doses of medical oxygen therapy that only the larger stationary oxygen concentrators can cover, but if you need a dose of 3 LPM or less of continuous flow, or a pulse dose, you will be able to use a portable oxygen concentrator.

This dosage of oxygen will be prescribed by your doctor, and it's determined by testing done to see if this is what you need. To purchase a medical grade portable oxygen concentrator, or any other type of medical oxygen equipment, you will need to present your prescription to a medical supply company.

Why Use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator?

Your doctor will also help you choose the right concentrator that will best suit your medical and lifestyle needs. If your doctor recommends exercise to keep your lungs healthier, a portable oxygen concentrator is what you need. You will be able to go hiking and biking with your portable oxygen concentrator.

You'll be able to go places you wouldn't have been able to go before, and with a portable oxygen concentrator that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, you'll be able to use it during a commercial flight.

How to Use a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Each portable oxygen concentrator is different and comes with a user manual that you should read, but there are a few basic things you should know about using a portable oxygen concentrator.

Always follow your doctor's orders, and never lower or turn up the amount of oxygen on your concentrator. There are setting controls, and once you have yours set on the setting prescribed to you, you should not turn it up or down unless your doctor tells you to.

You will need to keep your portable oxygen concentrator clean and dry. Wipe it down every day with a lint-free cloth, especially around the air inlet vents. Keeping it in the carry case, if it came with one, will help keep it safe, but you will need to make sure it stays out of the rain and make sure it doesn't get wet.

Depending on the model you get, you may need to change the gross particle filter every few years, and clean this filter periodically. Check your users manual for instructions on how to do this, and to locate the filter. You will also need to clean your nasal cannula and change the tubing every so often.

If you need a high dose of oxygen, or if you find yourself experiencing dryness and discomfort in your nasal passages, you can get a humidifier to use with your portable oxygen concentrator. This is a small bottle that attaches right to your concentrator.

Have more questions?

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.

5 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator”

  • ravi

    pls provide the details of portable carry mobile oxygen concentrators

    • Danielle Jason

      Thank you for your comment, Ravi. I have passed along your information to our Oxygen Specialists who will reach out to you regarding your comprehensive request. We also see your phone number associated with your account is no longer active. Feel free to email us at [email protected] with an updated phone number if you prefer we reach out via this medium. Is there a unit in particular you are interested in or are you just looking for more comprehensive information? For more information, we suggest downloading our Oxygen Concentrator Guide here: https://www.oxygenconcentratorstore.com/oxygen-therapy-guide/ or you can discuss your options directly with a specialist at 877-774-9271.

  • Jaque Christo

    Thank you for the post on what you need to know about using a portable oxygen concentrator. I definitely having a portable oxygen concentrator is a great idea whether you have been instructed to or want to continue exercising. That way you always have oxygen when you need it and can keep yourself in shape.

  • Linda

    I just received my portable oxygen today. My question is : "How do I know when to use the unit". Are there systems that would tell me that I need to use my oxygen ?

    • Margaret Goodman

      This is something that you and your doctor should have talked about when he prescribed your oxygen. Your prescription should tell you what setting you should be using and the frequency such as night time only, as needed during the day or maybe even use 24/7. If you are unsure how often you are to be using it please contact your doctor for clarification.


Leave a Comment