In these dreadful pandemic times, many people need oxygen therapy in their daily lives. Portable oxygen concentrators are the best option to get your oxygen therapy done at home. The device collects oxygen and nitrogen from surrounding air, filters it, and gives safe and fresh oxygen to the patient.
How an Oxygen Concentrator Works?
Let’s get to know how an oxygen concentrator works.
- First, the compressor collects the surrounding air, which is generally a mix of oxygen and nitrogen.
- The collected air then passes through many filtering processes where it removes nitrogen and purifies oxygen.
- The patient is then given this purified oxygen through a nasal cannula, oxygen mask, or oxygen tube. A pressure regulator controls oxygen pressure and ensures proper oxygen supply.
With their gaining popularity, portable oxygen concentrators are available in various types, where each variety has its unique benefits and features. With such variety, it becomes difficult for you to choose an ideal device for your home usage. The article highlights the key factors that can help you to choose a portable oxygen device.
Tips for Choosing an Oxygen Concentrator
Different oxygen concentrators have distinctive features and benefits, which makes them ideal for any patient’s condition. We have outlined some key aspects that you should keep in mind while choosing the best device per your needs.
1. Flow Rate
The most important thing to look out for when buying an oxygen concentrator is its flow rate. In simple terms, flow rate defines the speed at which the oxygen gets dispensed from the device to the patient.
However, a doctor can only suggest the flow rate as per the patient’s medical condition. So, it’s better that you consult your doctor before making the purchase.
The flow rates can differ drastically between 250 milliliters to even 10 liters per minute. So need to know your requirements, whether you need a lower or a higher flow rate concentrator. The rate, weight, and size would also depend highly on the flow rate of an oxygen concentrator.
The next thing to look out for is the mobility factor. You must know how mobile you want the device to be, based on the patient’s daily routines. These devices come in a diverse range in size, weight, and portability.
Usually, the high-power devices work harder and give higher flow rates. But this makes them big and bulkier, and hence cannot satisfy the requirement for mobility. These heavy devices deliver better flow rates and are ideal devices for use at home.
However, there are plenty of options weighing between 5 to 10 pounds for oxygen concentrators. These may not give higher flow rates but are easy to carry and travel along. It is the best option for those who do not require higher flowing rates for oxygen.
3. Oxygen Concentration Level
The oxygen supplied by the oxygen concentration device delivers only a certain percent of pure oxygen. This percent of pure oxygen indicates the oxygen concentration level. This level is affected by the number of filters that the air passes through within the device.
The majority of concentrators have a purity level ranging from 87 to 99 percent. However, high-powered oxygen concentrators have better concentrator levels when compared to their lighter and more portable versions. You must check on the concentration level before buying one for personal use.
Many people often overlook the noise that oxygen concentrators make. As these come in a broad range of built, power levels, layouts, and designs, oxygen concentrators also vary in noise levels. Usually, the smaller and lighter units are less noisy and maintain a low profile. But, higher power and higher flow rate machines are comparatively louder.
5. Extra Features
Many sellers offer a range of add-on items that complement the usage of oxygen concentrators in an effective way. These add-on accessories can include:
- Oxygen concentrator safety fitments
- Easily replaceable filter devices
- Settings for locking the oxygen flow
- Carrying bags, boxes, or containers
- And many more
The add-on accessories are available in plenty, and hence we have to be wise enough to select the ones we actually need. All accessories are not helpful but will add to your budget.
Plan Your Purchase Sensibly
Oxygen concentrators can prove to be life-savers for many patients in their critical health conditions. These devices are best-suited to be used in any surrounding to filter, process, compress and provide pure oxygenated air to the patients.
With due diligence, choose the best oxygen concentrator for your personal use. Some patients require a lightweight, portable device, while others need higher flow rates and prefer high-powered machines. On the other hand, many may only consider the noisiness of the oxygen concentrator while in use.
Although choosing a portable oxygen concentrator is a complicated decision, but proper consideration of each feature can help you choose the best.