Types of Portable Oxygen Concentrators
1. Pulse Flow/Pulse Dose Units
Pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator, also referred to as "on-demand oxygen therapy," intermittently administers oxygen measured in milliliters per breath.They can reach a setting of 6, which is not the same as 6 liters of O2 per minute (LPM). Most patients do not use a pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator during sleep because they may not detect breaths accurately. A pulse flow portable O2 concentrator unit is usually smaller than a continuous flow unit and are easily transportable. A pulse flow portable oxygen concentrator is not compatible with CPAP or BiPAP units.
Ranking the Top Pulse Flow Devices with Comparison Chart
2. Continuous Flow Units
Continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators administer O2 in liters per minute. The therapeutic range for continuous flow usually varies between 1 and 3 LPM. Continuous flow portable oxygen generators administer O2 continuously. Generally, the continuous flow device is larger in size and weight. They usually come with a wheeled cart or retractable handle to easily move them around. Continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators are compatible with a CPAP or BiPAP machines.
Ranking the Best Continuous and Pulse Flow Portable Devices
Undertanding Portable Oxygen Concentrators for Airline Travel
With portable oxygen concentrators, individuals can travel on airlines! The FAA requires the portable machines to run on a battery or a power source. Please note that you should never couple your portable machine with a power inverter.
Stipulations set by the FAA for people flying with a portable oxygen concentrator need to show a valid prescription. Most airlines require a battery life of 150% of the time of flight. You may need to purchase additional batteries for your portable oxygen concentrator to meet your airline's regulation.
A ruling by the Department of Transportation (section 382.133, "Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel" effective May 13, 2009) states that "air carriers conducting passenger service must permit someone with a disability to use an FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrator on all flights (on aircraft originally designed to have a maximum passenger capacity of more than 19 seats)." The FAA has approved 21 portable oxygen concentrators for airline travel. Here at Vitality Medical all the portable oxygen concentrators are FAA approved or pending approval.
Portable oxygen concentrators are often under warranty. Representatives will assist you with getting your device serviced by the manufacturer. Vitality Medical can also lend you another portable oxygen concentrator so you can continue with your respiratory therapy while yours is being repaired.
To determine which portable oxygen machine is best for you, visit the POC reviews.