Portable Oxygen Concentrator: Benefits, Information and Care Tips

A portable oxygen concentrator or POC is a portable device that provides a flow of oxygen. This compact machine takes in the surrounding air, compressed it, and releases oxygen through a tube to the user. Portable oxygen concentrators are usually used as an alternative to oxygen tanks. They are a great alternative because of the freedom they offer, but they are also often a safer option. Because they take air from the surrounding atmosphere, the supply is unlimited. They also have fewer leaks than oxygen tanks. The cost of a POC is often more than an oxygen tank, but that price is mostly paid upfront. There is a very little cost after the purchase is made. In contrast, oxygen tanks have costs that increase over time as they require the purchase of new tanks periodically.

They Give You Mobility

The biggest draw for POCs is their flexibility. With a portable oxygen concentrator, your life doesn’t have to change too much. You can still exercise, move around, leave the house for extended periods of time, all of it! POCs are often compact and made for easy travel. They use the air around them, so there is no worry of running out of oxygen. The battery life tends to be long, so no need to stress over your device dying on short notice.

There are Different POCs

You should discuss with a doctor which concentrator will best suit your needs and lifestyle. Each POC device is different. Learn about yours by studying the user manual. They will have different battery life lengths, come in different weights and size, and have different oxygen flow options. Your doctor will instruct you as to the amount of oxygen you will need from your concentrator, adjust accordingly. Preset your controls to the amount of oxygen flow you’ll need and let it be. Knowing how to control your device will make it easier to deal with.  

POCs Require Some Care and Cleaning

Because POCs are inhaling, filtering, and exhaling oxygen into your body, it’s very important that they are kept clean. A different model may require different care, but overall you should be wiping down your machine daily. You may need to deconstruct some parts to rinse them regularly. Changing your filter regularly is also a good idea, as filters can get clogged or catch debris that you don’t want to get into your oxygen. The tube that pumps your oxygen will also need to be cleaned regularly. Be sure to keep your POC clean to keep it running as well as possible and stop any possible infection from reaching your lungs.

You Can Use a Humidifier with Your POC

With oxygen flowing into your system regularly, you may experience some dryness in your nasal passages. This common because of the excess flow, but it’s nothing to worry about. If this is the case, you can get a humidifier to use with your POC. You can even get a small portable humidifier and connect it to your POC.