Introduction to Supplemental Oxygen
Respiratory diseases often create the need for more oxygen than what is available in the air. If you have COPD, you may already be using supplemental oxygen and if not you may have already discussed it with your doctor. READ MORE
The most recent technological advancements have brought the developments of some portable machines that are bringing a whole new concept of freedom to oxygen users. A few revolutionary machines have been released over the past few years, and some of the older models have been updated with the new expectations that come along with the release of new oxygen technologies. Of course, not every oxygen therapy product will be right for you. You'll need to make sure the POC can meet all of your needs.
1. Will a POC meet your daily oxygen needs?
Your mobile concentrator needs to be able to provide you with the oxygen dosage you need at all times, no matter where you are or what you're doing. Your oxygen needs will be different when you're physically active when you're sleeping and or sitting and watching television. The POC needs to be able to detect the changes in your breath rate and compensate accordingly.
There are two types of oxygen settings that come with portable models – pulse dose, and continuous flow oxygen. All POCs that have continuous flow settings, also have pulse dose settings, as well. As of right now, the highest continuous flow setting in a mobile unit is 3 LPM (liters per minute).
You will need to make sure that whatever concentrated oxygen portable you get has the dosage setting you need, with a high enough breath rate. The maximum breath rate and dosage volume should exceed what you would normally need, to make sure you'll never run short. It should have a good oxygen reserve, so when your breath rate goes up, the dosage will go up to meet it. Breath rate is measured in breaths per minute (BPM).
If you need a low dose or a low pulse dose of oxygen, you'll be able to take advantage of the smaller concentrated oxygen portables. If you need 5 LPM of continuous oxygen, you won't be able to use any of the continuous flow portable models that are currently on the market.
2. Is a portable oxygen concentrator truly portable?
By definition, a portable unit needs to be light enough so that you don't feel burdened while carrying it around anywhere you need to go. You have to take into consideration the weight of the unit, including the weight of the battery and accessories you will be carrying around along with it. You might also need to bring along extra batteries and power supplies. You should always expect to add a few extra pounds for the additional batteries if you are out and about all day.
3. Can you fly with a portable concentrator?
Yes. The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA, requires airlines based in the United States and foreign airlines flying into the U. S. permit passengers to operate portable oxygen concentrators approved by FAA during all phases of a flight if the unit displays a manufacturer’s sticker. The sticker indicates it meets FAA requirements for portable medical devices. The FAA has approved over 20 oxygen concentrators for air travel on all U.S. aircraft with more than 19 seats, and every portable unit we offer is approved for flights.
It is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure the unit is in proper working order and must be able to respond to warning alarms. The FAA requires enough battery power for at least 150% of your flight time. The unit must also be adequately stowed when not in use. Learn more about FAA Regulations for Oxygen Concentrators
4. Do I need a prescription to buy a portable oxygen concentrator?
Yes. Because the FDA classifies medical grade oxygen as a drug, and by Federal law, a prescription is required to purchase oxygen-related medical devices, such as portable oxy concentrators. Your doctor or health care provider can assist in obtaining a prescription.
5. What type of maintenance is needed on my concentrated oxygen portable?
Just like any other machine, portable concentrators require regular maintenance and service to ensure they operate correctly. Routine maintenance will extend the life of the unit and guarantee it delivers optimal airflow with uninterrupted service.
Maintenance duties include cleaning, inspecting filters, running the unit and changing the cannula. Learn more about portable concentrator maintenance
6. Is there a warranty on my unit?
Most manufacturers include a 3-year warranty on new portable concentrators, and each battery usually has a warranty for 1 year. Accessories warranties usually vary from 30 to 90 days and up to 1-year in some cases.
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