Portable oxygen concentrators are battery-operated oxygen concentrators that work in the same way as stationary or home oxygen concentrators but are much smaller and more portable. In contrast to Home Oxygen Concentrators, most Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) operate on a pulse/on-demand flow, which means they only supply Oxygen to patients when they inhale.
Portable oxygen concentrators are powered by internal/external rechargeable batteries and can also be plugged into an electrical outlet at home. Most models also include the ability to connect to a car charger (DC socket).
Longer battery life makes life easier for patients, and they don’t feel as if they’re burdening others physiologically while on oxygen therapy; they can spend time with their families/friends, go anyplace, and most essential, do their jobs. Let us look at some of the tips that you must keep in mind before buying a portable oxygen concentrator.
Weight is the most significant aspect to consider when purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator. Portable oxygen concentrators are designed to make life easier and assist you in maintaining an active lifestyle, whether for work or pleasure. Carrying a large model around may obstruct your freedom of movement and may possibly create shoulder or back problems.
The lightest model is Inogen One G5 (2.16 kg), followed by Oxymed Lite (2.2 kg) and DeVilbiss iGo2 (2.4 kg) (2.2 kg). Airsep Freestyle 5 (2.8 kg) is the heaviest in the pulse flow category, while SeQual Eclipse 5 (8.3 kg) is the heaviest overall because of its better capacity.
2. Sound Level
While operating, portable oxygen concentrators emit a low droning sound. It is typically quieter than a normal chat. However, because you’ll be spending the majority of your day with your Portable Oxygen Concentrator, and maybe sleeping with it, you’ll want to make sure it can operate at a level that you’re comfortable with.
The quietest is the DeVilbiss iGo2 (37 dB), followed by the Inogen One G5 (38 dB). The sound level on the Invacare XPO2 is the highest (45 dB), although it’s a minor change that you’ll quickly get used to.
3. Maximum Battery Backup
Another important consideration for a Portable Oxygen Concentrator is the amount of battery backup it can provide, which includes both internal and external batteries. The longer you can go without having to stop for a charge, the better the battery backup.
Inogen One G5 (13 hours) is at the top of the list, followed by SimplyGo Mini (9 hours) and Freestyle Comfort 5 (8 hours). SimplyGo (3 hours) comes in last.
4. Recharge Efficiency
There will be occasions when you will have to travel long distances. In such instances, you will need to periodically recharge your Portable Oxygen Concentrator. The recharging efficiency comes into play at this point. It affects how much battery backup your Portable Oxygen Concentrator can provide when fully charged. You will have to stop less frequently and charge cycles will be shorter if the model has a high recharge efficiency.
Inogen One G5 (130 minutes) is still the best performer, followed by Invacare Platinum (105 minutes) and DeVilbiss iGo2 (90 minutes) (70 minutes). In this way, the Invacare XPO2 (38 minutes) falls short of the other versions.
5. FAA Approval
While purchasing a Portable Oxygen Concentrator in the hopes of being able to travel freely, you’ll want to know if the type is approved for use on flights. This is the purpose of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approval. When a model is authorized by the FAA, it implies it is safe to fly with. Only FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrators will be accepted by airlines. So, before you buy anything, make sure you look and see if the FAA has cleared your preferred model.
6. Oxygen Flow Output
The number of flow settings available by the Portable Oxygen Concentrator type is taken into account by this parameter. The number of settings impacts how much oxygen the model can provide, as well as how pleasantly you can travel while using it. For example, 4 pulse settings correspond to about 4 LPM of continuous oxygen delivery, and so on. The model is ideal for people with higher requirements if the pulse flow setting is higher.
With 9 pulse flow settings and continuous flow up to 3 LPM, the SeQual Eclipse 5 is the most flexible Portable Oxygen Concentrator on the market. SimplyGo and Inogen One G5 both feature six settings. Philips SimplyGo, on the other hand, is a step ahead of Inogen One G5, as it delivers continuous flow, whereas Inogen One G5 does not. It’s also worth noting that the only two Portable Oxygen Concentrators with a continuous flow option are the SeQual Eclipse 5 and SimplyGo.
We’ve given you all of the information you’ll need to choose the best Portable Oxygen Concentrator for you. Before making a final decision, you should be aware of the parameters, think about your own needs, and weigh the benefits and drawbacks.