What Are Portable Oxygen Machines?

by Nancy

Portable oxygen concentrators, POC, are medical devices designed to help supply oxygen to individuals with a low level of oxygen in their blood. The machines plug into standard sockets, or are powered by a rechargeable battery. Better yet, the units come with an adapter, so, you can charge them or use them when you are driving.A portable oxygen machine draws air in, purifies it, and then supplies it to the user. The air that goes into the machine has high concentrations of nitrogen. After purification, the air that comes out has a high concentration of oxygen with a low volume of nitrogen. The device further separates oxygen from nitrogen to ensure the user gets as much oxygen as possible.

What Are Portable Oxygen Concentrators Used For?

A POC is ideal for people suffering from severe Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and who have low blood oxygen. With a portable oxygen machine, you can maintain the quality and standard of your life.

Diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema, and COPD require the use of a POC. While there are many other drugs and treatment options for chronic lung conditions, such as corticosteroids, prescription medicine, and inhalers, supplemental oxygen is one of the main lung disease treatment options. The unit offers continued respiratory support for anyone struggling with oxygen intake.

How do You Get a Portable Oxygen Machine?

A portable oxygen machine is a prescription device. The doctor needs to give you a prescription to carry the machine. This is important when you are shopping for the unit (some sellers need to see the prescription), and when you are traveling by air (the Federal Aviation Administration requires that you show a valid prescription). When you are traveling by air, most airlines require that the device has about 150 percent charge. This means that you may need to buy extra batteries when you fly.

Once you have a prescription, you can shop online or from a store near you. Better yet, your physician can recommend a store for you.

There are two types of oxygen machines; pulse flow machines and continuous units. Pulse flow machines administer oxygen on-demand. These machines detect your breath and then administer oxygen measured in milliliters per breath. This machine is not ideal when you are sleeping as it may not accurately detect your breath. However, a pulse flow machine is more compact than a continuous flow machine.

Continuous flow oxygen machines administer a continuous flow of oxygen in between 1 and 3 liters per minute (LPM). The continuous flow units need to purify high volumes of oxygen every minute. As such, they are relatively large with wheels and a retractable handle. These are ideal units when you are sleeping – they are compatible with CPAP and BiPAP machines.

How Much Does a Portable Oxygen Machine Cost?

Pulse flow portable oxygen machines cost less than continuous flow portable machines. On average, the cost of POC ranges between $1,000 and $3,000. Some units will cost more, depending on their features, and other less. A high-quality oxygen machine should be at least $2,000.