Oxygen concentrators are healthcare equipment used at home for oxygen therapy required by patients. You can easily rent this equipment for limited days of use. However, if you need continuous oxygen-related treatment, it’s better to buy a portable oxygen concentrator.
Choosing from a variety of oxygen concentrators can be confusing yet very important. It is not only a vital medical device but is very expensive. So do thorough research and ensure that you are buying a device with all the facilities you need. The article lists some key features to consider which will help in making your decision easier.
Vital Features to Check for Portable Oxygen Concentrators
An oxygen concentrator should be portable enough. That means it should not be oversized and bulky and becomes a problem to carry along. Oxygen concentrators should not be responsible for holding back on a patient’s active lifestyle. Look for the basic portability features like:
Size. With the advancement of technology, we can find portable models for every piece of equipment. While buying the oxygen concentrator, make sure that it can fit your car trunk or aircraft seat. Keep in mind your daily commutes and ensure that you can carry them along.
Weight. The weight of the concentrator should be comfortable enough that the patient can carry it by himself. However, various models weigh below 10 pounds. Make sure that it has all the features that suit your oxygen therapy requirements.
Even if we are careful enough, there are chances that the device will get bumps and bangs while traveling. Oxygen concentrators are expensive, and companies usually don’t provide warranties on accidents. So choose a model that is durable and sturdy. The oxygen concentrator should withstand a few hits and must have a durable casing.
3. Type of Oxygen Delivery
Oxygen concentrators can deliver oxygen in varied possible ways.
Pulse Dosing Type. These devices supply oxygen to patients in calculated pulses. You can adjust the pulse dose up to certain limits. Be sure you buy a model that facilitates enough pulse dose to fulfill your oxygen needs.
Auto Adjusting Pulse Dosing Type. These devices can auto-adjust the oxygen supply to match with the patient’s pulse counts. It’s a salient feature for those who do daily exercises and workouts.
Continuous Flow Type. This device supplies oxygen at a constant preset rate. It’s ideal for patients who have high oxygen requirements.
4. Alarms and Displays
Important display features that an ideal oxygen concentrator should have:
- The display screen of the device should be easily readable.
- It should have larger buttons to avoid any accidents of pressing the wrong button.
- It should have alarms and alerts for oxygen flow issues, malfunctioning, and low battery.
All the oxygen concentrators come with a filter. However, most of these are just simple particle filters that remove dander and dust from the oxygen supply. Some devices come with antibacterial filters, which are an absolute advantage to patients, particularly those with a weak immune system. Don’t forget to clean your oxygen filters regularly to enhance the oxygen concentration level.
Portable oxygen concentrators require a heavy investment, and so you must make sure to check it’s warranty. As per the industry standards, these devices come with a 3-year warranty. Make sure if this warranty mentions the repairs are to be done in the factory itself or will be done at your place or from the purchasing store. Also, check the product warranty of accessories as these are for a smaller duration, usually 60 days to 1 year.
Portable and lightweight machines are usually quiet, but there are a few that are noisier. Most of the oxygen concentrators mention the noise level in decibels in their product packing. Check it before buying, or you could get into annoying situations in public and sensitive places.
8. Battery Backup
The battery backup of the device should be good enough for taking them out without any worries. However, different functionalities of the device are the main reason for battery draining, but you can still expect around 2 to 4 hours of continuity from a full battery. If you enjoy traveling and don’t have much access to a charger, opt for a device with more battery life. You can also have an extra battery with you as an alternative while traveling.
There are several purchase options available for oxygen concentrators. Some might come with lots of accessories, while others may not even have a single battery. Buying accessories separately can add up to your purchase cost, so opt for offers that include them. Every device must have an extra battery and carry case. You can also negotiate with the dealers for the accessories you don’t want with the ones you actually need.
Choose Your Oxygen Concentrator Wisely
Buying an ideal oxygen concentrator can be a critical decision to make. Every patient’s needs are different, and you cannot suggest a single device to everyone. Better consult with your doctor first to know your exact oxygen requirements and the frequency of using the device.
Once you have the doctor’s opinion, you can commence your search with the dealers to find the one that fits best for you. Carry the prescription from your doctor with the exact requirements of the oxygen, and base your purchase on that.