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How to Choose a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Oxygen Therapy Equipment

One of the most exciting parts about getting a new portable oxygen concentrator (POC) is the freedom it can provide you. However, it’s important to choose an oxygen concentrator that is right for you and that allows you to breathe comfortably. There are so many different models to choose from. It can be overwhelming! How do you decide? Fortunately, we’ve got the tips and tricks that’ll help you find the perfect POC for your needs:

Determine your personal oxygen needs.

When purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator, there are several personal oxygen needs that you should consider:

Oxygen flow rate: The oxygen flow rate refers to the amount of oxygen that the concentrator is able to deliver per minute. It’s important to select a concentrator with a flow rate that meets your oxygen needs. Your healthcare provider can help determine the appropriate flow rate for you.

Battery life: If you plan to use your portable oxygen concentrator while on the go, it’s important to consider the battery life of the device. Look for a concentrator with a long battery life or one that allows you to carry extra batteries.

Size and weight: Portable oxygen concentrators come in a range of sizes and weights. Consider the size and weight of the device in relation to your personal needs and preferences. 

Noise level: Some portable oxygen concentrators may produce more noise than others. If noise is a concern for you, look for a concentrator with a low decibel rating.

Price: Portable oxygen concentrators vary in price, so it’s important to consider your budget when making a purchase. Keep in mind that the cost of operating the concentrator, including the cost of replacement filters and consumables, should also be taken into account.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate oxygen therapy for you. 

Determine if you need pulse flow vs continuous flow

A pulse flow oxygen concentrator delivers oxygen in short bursts, or pulses, while a continuous flow oxygen concentrator delivers a continuous flow of oxygen.

Pulse flow oxygen concentrators are designed to deliver oxygen only when the patient inhales, which can make them more energy efficient and lighter in weight compared to continuous flow oxygen concentrators. They may also be more suitable for patients with relatively stable oxygen needs or those who only require supplemental oxygen during certain activities.

Continuous flow oxygen concentrators, on the other hand, deliver a constant flow of oxygen regardless of whether the patient is inhaling or exhaling. This type of oxygen concentrator may be more suitable for patients with more severe oxygen needs or those who require a constant supply of oxygen. Continuous flow oxygen concentrators tend to be larger and heavier than pulse flow oxygen concentrators, and they may also be more expensive to operate due to their higher energy consumption.

It’s important to note that the type of oxygen concentrator that is most suitable for a particular patient will depend on their specific oxygen needs and other factors. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate oxygen therapy for you.

Consider whether you want to carry or wear your portable oxygen concentrator.

If you choose to carry your portable oxygen concentrator, make sure it’s lightweight and compact. You’ll need a bag or backpack that is comfortable and has plenty of room for other things (like a laptop, tablet, phone charger, water bottle).

If you choose to wear your portable oxygen concentrator, make sure it’s comfortable and easy to use while on the go. Look for adjustable straps and cushioned pads where necessary. If possible, find one with an excellent battery life so that recharging isn’t necessary very often (for example: every night at home).

It’s important that you find the best POC for you and your lifestyle!

Finding the best portable oxygen concentrator for you is an important decision. The right POC can enable you  to live a more active and independent life, while the wrong one may be inconvenient, uncomfortable, or insufficient to meet your oxygen needs.

If you have any questions about any of our oxygen concentrators or which one may be the best fit for you, please contact one of our oxygen specialists at 800-335-1633.