Portable Oxygen Concentrators: Are they worth it?

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Oxygen is the most abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere, which means it takes up around 20% of the atmosphere. It is also essential for living things such as humans, plants, and animals. It is used mainly in the respiration process. They are used as life support for astronauts and scuba divers wherein there is a change of oxygen levels in their environment. In industry, oxygen is used for the manufacturing of steel. Oxygen is used also in medicine, wherein they use tanks of oxygen, whether it’s liquid or gas, to treat people with respiratory problems. But, carrying an oxygen tank around is difficult.

What is oxygen therapy? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute said that oxygen therapy is a type of treatment wherein oxygen is delivered to your body. Usually, oxygen is stored in tanks, in a liquid or a gas state. Nowadays, inventions and researches are being conducted and published on different devices for oxygen therapy. In this article, we’ll tackle what a portable oxygen concentrator is, how it works, and how to use them. We’ll also take a closer look at its advantages and disadvantages.

What is a portable oxygen concentrator?

According to one medical professional from cpap.com, a portable oxygen concentrator or POC is a medical device that helps people with low levels of blood oxygen. They also stated the portable oxygen concentrators receive air, purify it, and distribute the purified air, which means the device extracts the oxygen and nitrogen from the air, and produces more oxygen. Plus, these devices are much lighter and less bulky compared with traditional oxygen tanks.

Another definition from a medical professional from Precision Medical said that oxygen concentrators draw oxygen from your immediate environment, that it does not require refillable oxygen canisters or tanks. This means that the concentrator purifies the air in the environment you’re in and produces oxygen when a person has low levels of oxygen.

How Do Portable Oxygen Concentrators Work?

You may think that having a portable oxygen concentrator sounds technical, but you don’t have to be technical to understand how this device works. The device draws in air from the environment you’re in, then the air is compressed inside the device, filtering in the nitrogen since the air we breathe is composed of nitrogen and oxygen, then the nitrogen is filtered out of the air, and pure oxygen is produced by the device, and can be inhaled using a clean nasal tube, or a face mask.

There are oxygen concentrators that provide supplemental oxygen in various environments that can be used at home and on-the-go. There are two types of portable oxygen concentrators, namely:

Continuous Flow POCs

A continuous flow of portable oxygen concentrators are devices that supply oxygen at a constant rate, regardless of inhalation or exhalation. This type of oxygen concentrator can also work with a PAP machine. Since this device delivers oxygen at a constant rate, it uses more battery power, but these can deliver higher oxygen levels for your needs.

Pulse Dose POCs

These pulse dose portable oxygen concentrators are devices that supply oxygen only when the patient inhales and stops when they exhale. Compared with continuous flow mode, this type reduces battery usage. On the other hand, when using a pulse dose POC, you will need a prescription from a medical professional so they can specify a pulse dose setting.

Patients with respiratory diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pulmonary fibrosis, and emphysema, can use portable oxygen concentrators to continue maintaining their quality of life. If you want to own portable oxygen concentrators, you’ll be required to have a prescription by a medical professional if you have a respiratory problem.

You may choose a portable oxygen concentrator here.

Pros and Cons of Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Of course, there are several advantages and disadvantages to a portable oxygen concentrator. Here are the pros and cons of having portable oxygen concentrators.

Pros

Easy to operate

Some POCs are quite difficult to use. It can be challenging for you to have your oxygen therapy and have your device beeping because you’re not using it correctly. An easy and clean control interface will allow patients to monitor how much is their liter flow and the battery life of the device.

Mobility

Portable oxygen concentrators are lightweight and compact. You can carry it anywhere from social events, and physical activities. These come in handy if you’re feeling quite peculiar when you’re outside of your house.

Meets your needs

If you or another person have respiratory diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD, having a POC is essential for these cases. If you’re going to select from a variety of oxygen concentrators, choose the one that supplies both continuous flow and pulse flow so you can decide the best form of oxygen therapy for your needs.

Cons

Oxygen is an essential need for humans. Whether you have a respiratory disease, or you feel tired and have shortness of breath. There is almost no disadvantage in using portable oxygen concentrators. The only downside of a portable oxygen concentrator is that portable oxygen concentrators are going to cost like a diamond. POCs aren’t cheap and can cost around $2300. HMOs may not cover this cost because the industry prefers the less expensive oxygen tanks. This may not be cheap, but the cost might be worth a lifetime supply of oxygen, which is effective in the long run.

Conclusion

Portable oxygen concentrators may be the breakthrough compared to traditional oxygen tanks. These portable oxygen concentrators can provide your needs to supply oxygen. Oxygen therapy has always been a lifesaver when it comes to crucial times. They deliver oxygen, to keep your organs healthy, and functioning. People who need oxygen therapy are choosing to use a portable oxygen concentrator because it allows them to maintain and improve their quality of life.

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