Aging Into Disability

Choosing Home Oxygen Concentrators

As a medical intervention, home oxygen concentrators are used to increase tissue oxygenation by increasing the quantity and quality of oxygen in the lungs. Some illnesses require that people have some assistance with oxygenating their bodies, and this is where oxygen concentrators play a vital role. Thankfully there is technology so that people who need oxygen therapy can receive it at home. 

What Is An Oxygen Concentrator?

Home oxygen concentrators are machine used in medicine to convert air into high-concentration level oxygen. It is primarily used to compensate for the oxygen deficit experienced by people who have trouble breathing or have difficulty taking in oxygen on their own. Oxygen concentrators are preferred over compressed oxygen in steel tanks not only because they are more convenient to use and less expensive, but also due to safety issues.

These machines operate by filtering nitrogen from ambient air and producing oxygen at a concentration level of 87% or higher through tubes and face masks to a patient on oxygen therapy. A regular oxygen concentrator can supply a continuous high-quality oxygen output that is measured in liters per minute, or LPM.

Inogen Portable Oxygen Concentrator

The two types of oxygen concentrators that can be used for a home-based oxygen therapy are the portable and non-portable, also known as a home unit. They differ mainly in terms of output capacity and their weight.

The portable type is extremely beneficial to a person who needs extra oxygen considering but also wants to keep active by being out and about. Not only is it lightweight to carry around, it is also relatively quiet when in operation.

Portable oxygen concentrators use the pulse delivery method in delivering oxygen to a patient. A regular model can give off a maximum oxygen flow of 1 LPM. One way to enhance the machine’s efficiency is the patient’s ability to coordinate breathing to the machine’s rhythm. Portable units can be purchased only with a prescription.

Home Oxygen Concentrators

Non-portable oxygen concentrators, on the other hand, use the continuous flow delivery method. This type of machine delivers a steady flow of pure oxygen to the patient, and is recommended for people with more serious breathing problems or those with advanced pulmonary illness.

Home units are capable of non-stop operation and output capacity of 1 LPM or more. Other modern models can give up to 10 LPM. Non-portables are more expensive than the portable units, but unlike the mobile version, home units do not require prescription.

Guidelines for choosing an oxygen concentrator:

1. Before purchasing, consult with a healthcare provider who is familiar with your needs.

2. Suppliers and manufacturers can give you relevant technical information. You can also ask people who are on oxygen therapy or may be using a machine similar to what you are looking for.

3. The notion that expensive is better is not always true. Some machines cost considerably more because they include accessories that you may or may not need; others are high-priced because they are popular.

4. When buying an oxygen concentrator, consider having one that is of higher specification than what you intend to buy. If your needs change, the machine will still suit you.

There is a wide range of oxygen concentrators available on the marketplace. Make sure to check warranty periods as they vary anywhere from 2 to 5 years depending on the manufacturer.

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