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Giving the Gift of Oxygen – What to Consider Before You Order

by | Dec 3, 2013 | Learn | 4 comments

Giving a loved one the gift of a portable oxygen concentrator is both generous and thoughtful, but it is not easy, especially if you are trying to keep it a surprise. Here are five points to consider before you call to place an order:

  1. DO find a reputable dealer who will take care of your loved one’s unit long after they unwrap the box.
  2. DON’T just ask the dealer which is the least expensive or the most popular model. You’re buying a piece of medical equipment, not a toaster. You may save a couple hundred dollars, but if your loved one cannot use the unit you chose, then you may end up wasting thousands of dollars. Take time to find out which unit is best for your loved one.
  3. DO your homework. Talk to your loved one and find out his or her oxygen needs.
    1. What is the liter flow setting needed?
    2. Can they use pulse flow, or only continuous?
    3. Will they be using the unit during the day only, or also at night?
    4. What are their mobility needs? How much weight can they handle?
    5. How many batteries will be needed? Will they be using it for air travel?
  4. DO obtain a prescription (or at least have the doctor’s information so the dealer can make the request). The FDA requires the dealer to have a prescription for portable oxygen equipment, even if you are paying out-of-pocket.
  5. DON’T order too early. The most reputable dealers will offer a 7-10 day trial, during which time you can replace the chosen POC for another model. The ability to replace the unit is especially important when you’re giving a POC as a gift, and if you order too soon you’ll waste the trial period and may have to pay a much larger restocking or trade-in fee. I recommend placing your order so that it arrives just a 2-3 days before the gifting occasion. But you’ll need to start working on the order up to at least two weeks prior to ensure availability and allow for shipping time.

With a little extra thought and care, your gift of oxygen may very well be the most loved and appreciated gift ever received.


  1. Linda Black

    Hello, I’m new to POC’s. I need continuous 2ltr for air travel. So far I have travelled with airlines who provide oxygen – BA, Delta but travelling with AA on 9 hour flight and need POC. I live in Bermuda and would like to collect from Miami Airport – can you suggest reputable contact and best machine either to rent or buy. Leaving on Dec 19, so fairly urgent.
    Thank you.

    • Allison Waters

      Airlines require you to have 150% of the flight time in battery power; so, for a 9 hour flight you would need 13.5 hours of battery time. That will be quite a few batteries using continuous flow. The SeQual Eclipse will last 2 hours per battery on 2 LPM, so you would need 7 batteries. The DeVilbiss iGo lasts 2.4 hours per battery, so you would need 6 batteries. Both of these units are pretty reliable. For a contact in Miami, I recommend you contact the manufacturer for dealers in Miami. Otherwise, I have heard good things about OxiMedical.com for purchasing and rentals.

  2. Clinton Delancey

    I have continuous flow concentrator fo my apartment which I have on most of the time set at 2 LPM. Not sure how effective when I sleep as I become a mouth breather, but not a problem. I use a small tank with pulse controls when I exercise or walk. I do not use oxygen on short walks or short drives. All covered by medicare. Planning trip to Spain. What type of unit do you suggests I consider buying for trip. Will be doing considerable amt of walking so weight is a factor, also air travel. Would appreciate any advice on where best to purchase units. Thank you very much for whatever information you can provide me.
    Clinton DeLancey

    • Allison Waters

      The Respironics SimplyGo is a good all-around unit for your trip. It will provide the continuous flow of 2 LPM that you need for night use, as well as pulse settings for daytime use. Unfortunately, since it is a continuous flow model, it is not as light as you may prefer for your daytime use. Lighter units, such as the Inogen One G2 and G3 are pulse only and will probably not work for your night use since you are a mouth-breather. The Respironics SimplyGo is 10 pounds and each battery will last 3.5 hours on setting 2 pulse. For an international flight, you would probably need 3-4 batteries (you need 150% of the flight time in battery power).