Portable Oxygen Concentrators
Portable oxygen concentrators, commonly abbreviated as POCs, are relatively small medical O2 devices that deliver concentrated oxygen to a patient. These devices function by taking ambient room air or the earth's atmosphere and filtering everything out except for oxygen. In more simplistic terms, POCs concentrate oxygen from the air around you. Depending upon a patient's respiratory needs, portable machines are available in two delivery methods to satisfy the needs of people using oxygen therapy: pulse-dose and continuous flow. To determine which device will meet your specific needs, Vitality Medical suggests that you consult with your medical provider to ensure that you select the right machine for your specific needs.
- Portable Oxygen Concentrator Comparison - compare side-by-side each pulse/continuous flow travel concentrator.
- What is a Pulse Flow Oxygen Concentrator?
- Ranking the Top Portable Oxygen Concentrators with Pulse Flow includes concentrator review and comparison.
- What is a Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrator?
- Ranking the Best Portable Oxygen Concentrators with Continuous Flow includes concentrator comparison chart.
- Choosing a Travel Concentrator or portable oxygen generator for airline travel.
- Airline Travel with an FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrator.
A pulse-dose oxygen machine, also referred to as "on-demand oxygen therapy," intermittently administers a volume of oxygen measured in milliliters per breath. Pulse-dose oxygen machines have the capability of reaching a setting of 6, which is not the same as 6 liters per minute (LPM). Most patients who require oxygen therapy during sleep do not use a pulse-dose oxygen generator, as it may not detect breaths as well. However, this does not mean that it is impossible. We recommend that you consult with your medical provider about sleeping with these devices because your practitioner may recommend a sleep study to determine if it adequately delivers the necessary supplemental oxygen. A portable oxygen generator of this type is usually smaller than continuous-flow generators. Typically, it is so small and light that most patients can easily transport it with a strap or handle. Please note that a pulse-dose compressor is not compatible with CPAP or BiPAP machines. Patients using either of these machines to treat sleep apnea will need to couple their sleep apnea device with a continuous-flow mobile oxygen concentrator or a stationary concentrator.
Continuous-flow POCs, unlike pulse-dose machines, administer oxygen in liters per minute. The therapeutic range for a continuous-flow machine usually varies between 1 and 3 LPM. Instead of delivering therapeutic oxygen per breath as a pulse-dose model does, these models administer oxygen continuously during inhalation and exhalation. Generally, a continuous-flow model is significantly larger in size and weight because it requires a larger pump and assembly to provide the continual flow of oxygen. These larger models usually come with a wheeled cart to enable patients to move them around. In addition to a wheeled cart, many of these concentrators also come with a retractable handle. Continuous-flow portable concentrators are compatible with a CPAP or BiPAP machine. To couple the two devices together, please call Vitality Medical to speak with a friendly and knowledgeable representative. Our staff will instruct you on what you need to do to successfully use the two machines together. Putting the nuances between continuous-flow and pulse-dose aside, though, more and more individuals are choosing either POC model because they are perfect for travel.
Many patients feel that their quality of life is negatively impacted due to the necessity of oxygen therapy. However, with portable oxygen machines, individuals can go out to dinner at restaurants, visit friends and family, enjoy vacations, and even travel on airlines! The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves a wide variety of machines for use on board of commercial aircraft. All travel oxygen concentrators approved by the FAA function with electricity, either from a battery, AC wall power supply, or DC car power supply. POCs are multi-voltage, enabling people to use them anywhere in the world. Once abroad, all you need to do to resume operation is combine your oxygen machine with an international travel adapter so your plug will fit into the appropriate electrical socket. Please note that you should never couple a power inverter with a portable O2 concentrator.
There are some stipulations instituted by the FAA for people flying with an oxygen machine. You may need to carry a prescription stating the medical necessity of the device. Also, battery time is a crucial component when using your oxygen therapy device on a flight. Each airline has their own regulations concerning the use of a travel concentrator during flight. To be absolutely certain of your flight's regulations, please contact the airline you are flying with and ask them about their policies regarding POCs. As a general rule of thumb, most commercial airlines require that patients' devices have a battery life of 150% of the time of flight. For example, if your flight is two hours long, you will need at least three hours of battery life. Depending upon your flight time, you may need to purchase additional batteries to meet your airline's policies and regulations. Once on board, most of the FAA-approved machines will fit underneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin.
Although a portable oxygen concentrator is incredibly durable and can handle storage in an overhead bin, it is important to remember that it is still a machine with moving and mechanical parts that can break or malfunction. It is vital to have a backup plan should there be any issues with your oxygen concentrator. Portable oxygen therapy devices are often under warranty with Vitality Medical. Representatives will assist you with getting your machine serviced by the manufacturer. We can also send you another oxygen device so that you do not need to go without therapy while your machine is being repaired.
At Vitality Medical, we both sell and rent oxygen concentrators in our online shop. To determine which portable oxygen concentrator is best for you, please review the most popular POC reviews for medical supplies at the bottom of this page.
A ruling by the Department of Transportation (section 382.133, "Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel" effective May 13, 2009) indicates that "air carriers conducting passenger service must permit someone with a disability to use an FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrator (POC) on all flights (on aircraft originally designed to have a maximum passenger capacity of more than 19 seats)." The FAA has approved 21 oxygen concentrators for airline travel. The list of 21 approved POCs is provided below along with links to government test results.
- AirSep FreeStyle
- AirSep LifeStyle
- AirSep Focus
- AirSep Freestyle 5
- (Caire) SeQual eQuinox / Oxywell (model 4000)
- Delphi RS-00400 / Oxus RS-00400
- DeVilbiss Healthcare iGo
- Inogen One
- Inogen One G2
- Inogen One G3
- Inova Labs LifeChoice Activox
- International Biophysics LifeChoice / lnova Labs LifeChoice
- Invacare XPO2
- Invacare Solo 2
- Oxylife Independence Oxygen Concentrator
- Precision Medical EasyPulse
- Respironics EverGo
- Respironics SimplyGo
- Sequal Eclipse
- SeQual SAROS
- VBox Trooper
- 30% Smaller than the Eclipse
- Has the Most Settings: 1-9
- 24/7 operation
- Highest battery life
- Durable metal case
- 5 year warranty
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 4.90 lbs Pulse Dose: 1 to 4 4 to 8 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 18.40 lbs Continuous Flow: 1 to 3
Pulse Dose: 1 to 9
2 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 7.25 lbs Pulse Dose: 1 to 6 4 to 8 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 10.00 lbs Pulse Dose: 1 to 6
Continuous Flow: 0.5 to 2
3.5 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 1.75 lbs Pulse Dose: 2 1.5 Hours Yes 3 Years
Starting at: $3,395.00Inova Labs
- Maintenance Free
- O2 Sensor Comes Standard
- Comes with 4-in-One Carrying Case
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 4.80 lbs Pulse Dose: 1 to 4 8.25 Hours (at Setting 2) Yes 3 Years
Starting at: $2,310.00Inova Labs
- Extra Sensitive Breath Detection
- 4-in-one Carry Case
- User Friendly Controls
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 4.30 lbs Pulse Dose: 1 to 3 7.25 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 14.00 lbs Continuous Flow: 1 to 3
Pulse Dose: 1 to 9
2.7 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 4.40 lbs Pulse Dose: 3 2.5 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life Warranty 5.60 lbs Pulse Dose: 1 to 4
Continuous Flow: 1 to 6
6 to 22 Hours 2 Years
Starting at: $3,795.00O2 Concepts
- Durable metal case
- 5 year warranty
- Long battery life
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 19.00 lbs Continuous Flow: 0.5 to 3
Pulse Dose: 0.5 to 3
5.75 Hours Yes 5 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 19.00 lbs Pulse Dose: 1 to 6
Continuous Flow: 1 to 3
4.7 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 25.00 lbs Pulse Does: 1 to 5 2.5 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 5.80 lbs Pulse Dose: 5 3.5 Hours Yes 3 Years
Weight Flow Rate (LPM) Battery Life FAA Approved Warranty 9.90 lbs Pulse Does: 1 to 5 3 Hours Yes 3 Years