Portable Oxygen Concentrators
There are many factors that can affect what oxygen equipment you receive. We want to make sure that Patients are equipped with the right information to help them and their provider pick the best equipment for their treatment. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a POC for oxygen therapy:
Each POC is Different
Every POC model has different performance characteristics. Patients should never assume that one device will deliver the same therapy as another. Differences in performance tend to be wider when comparing a larger POC to a smaller POC, but even similar sized POC models will have oxygen production and delivery characteristics that should not be ignored.
We understand that patients are drawn to the smaller POCs because they are lighter weight and less of a hassle to transport. While smaller POCs may seem more convenient, if they do not fit your oxygen needs they will actually be more of an inconvenience. the smaller the POC, the less oxygen the device will produce. When oxygen patients are more active they usually require more oxygen. If this is the case, a smaller POC is not always an appropriate choice for patients.
Pulse delivery characteristics
All POCs feature pulse delivery settings. Patients should know whether or not the POC delivers its pulses via minute volume delivery or via fixed pulse delivery. POCs that use minute volume delivery will reduce the pulse volume delivered per breath as the user's rate rises (where typically the user will need more oxygen, not less), whereas fixed pulse devices will not lower pulse volumes with an increase in rate.
Added weight is not usually accounted for when manufacturers report weight specifications. The POC and battery are accounted for, but additional weight of POC accessories are left out. This can include extra batteries for travel, carrying bags and carts, ac and dc power adapters, and other items. Be sure to keep this in mind when looking at POCs.
POC battery life will be dependent on the setting used as well as the breath rate of the patient. Patients needing to set the POC to higher pulse settings should expect less battery life than if set at a lower pulse setting. For POCs with continuous flow operation, setting the unit to continuous flow operation will go through the battery power at a higher rate than if set to the same pulse setting value. Also, device specifications for battery life are reported in new conditions and will decrease over time.