It can be scary when purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator, as it is a very large purchase that can change your daily activities and improve your health.
You may not know what unit to buy, or what setting you need to use, but we are here to help you figure that out!
Finding the Right Equipment
When looking for a portable oxygen concentrator there are a few guidelines you should follow.
Most importantly, your doctor will put you on a prescribed setting of oxygen, often in LPM (liters per minute) form.
LPM is the amount of oxygen you will be receiving per minute, this is very important to note, as every portable oxygen concentrator has different flow rates.
Oxygen concentrators have one of two delivery methods, pulse dose or continuous flow.
Pulse dose supplies oxygen on-demand when the device senses a breath.
Continuous flow provides a constant stream of oxygen to the user without a need to sense for a breath.
When a prescription is written for supplemental oxygen, your doctor prescription will often include his name and contact information, your full name and date of birth, and a detailed description of oxygen needed.
If your doctor wants you on a specific unit, they will often include it on the doctor’s prescription, so when you go to purchase one, the company can see what unit you will need.
Otherwise, your doctor will often write if you need pulse or continuous, and at what liter per minute (LPM).
This is important for the company you are working with, as they can determine what units would work for you based on your oxygen needs.
Before you will get a unit the company will need to verify your oxygen use, so if you have a copy of the prescription make sure to send it to them.
You cannot get a pulse dose oxygen concentrator with a continuous flow prescription, and vice versa.
If you are unsure of your prescription or don’t understand it fully, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss it or give the office a call.
Prescriptions will often be written in one of two ways:
3 LPM pulse or
4 LPM continuous
After you have all of this information, getting the concentrator should be a bit easier.
The company you speak with should be able to help you find the right unit for you if your doctor did not specify what unit you should using.
Planning for the Future
When you go to buy an oxygen concentrator, it is important to think about your current and future needs in a POC.
For example, if you use a CPAP or Bi-PAP, mention it to the company you are working with, as your unit should be compatible with your other equipment.
Another thing to think about is the future and buying a unit that is perfect for the present and the future.
Many respiratory conditions can worsen over time, which may require you to need a higher liter flow.
Planning for the future, plan to purchase a unit that has what you need for now, and possible room for any adjustments in the future.
After discussing the units and your needs, you should be able to pick a unit best for you.
Often, your needs may narrow down the result to a specific unit, but if you have some leeway you can further narrow your search.
Make sure to look at battery life, unit size, weight of the unit so you can find one that works for you.
Battery life may be very important to you, you may want a long-lasting battery to help you stay out and active.
All oxygen concentrators come with an AC and DC power supply, letting you charge your unit at home or on the go.
You can also purchase more batteries if you are planning on a trip where you may need battery life for an extended period of time and you won’t have access to AC/DC power sources.
Size of the unit may matter as well, as something too big can be a pain to carry around.
A low weighted unit can help make moving around and being active easier compared to a very heavy unit that you would have to carry around when you are out and about.
Contacting a Company
When looking into what company to buy through, start by comparing costs.
Some companies are willing to match cost with others, some will stick with their price.
Also look at return policies and warranties, as both of these can be beneficial if you end up disliking the unit, or something happens down the road.
Look at reviews online, see what others think about the company.
After everything, if you are still unsure about a company, give them a call.
Speaking with a member of the company, address any worries or concerns you may have, and they may be able to answer any questions or ease your worries and concerns.
Purchasing an oxygen concentrator can be a scary thing, its an expensive item that can have a huge impact on your health and lifestyle.
Throughout the entire process there are many companies you can contact that will help guide you in the right direction, as well as answer any questions you may have.
There are also many online sources to help you figure out what unit is best for you.
You have many options and it can be hard to narrow down what will be beneficial to you, but this article should help you figure out how to narrow it down.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-520-5726 and speak with our team!