Is There a Portable Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrator?
Is the question, "is there a portable continuous flow oxygen concentrator" bugging your mind lately? Today, we are going to answer that.
Is There An Available Portable Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrator?
Yes. There are portable continuous flow oxygen concentrators available in the market today. However, you cannot just buy one whenever you want to. The FDA requires all distributors to ask for a prescription from a licensed physician before proceeding with the sale, as medical-grade oxygen is considered a substance.
There is such thing as oxygen toxicity, which is lung damage that occurs when someone inhales too much oxygen. Effects may vary, including coughing, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, or death.
Read on if you want to know more about continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators.
What Is A Portable Continuous Oxygen Concentrator?
Continuous flow portable oxygen concentrator is a type of medical device used to deliver oxygen to people with breathing issues and low oxygen levels in their blood cells. It can also be used by individuals who require oxygen therapy for their conditions.
These units are mobile, and you can use them in the comforts of your own home. Depending on the size, you may even be able to bring it anywhere you go, especially with long road trips and traveling abroad.
Portable concentrator continuous flow works by absorbing the surrounding air and turning it into purified oxygen by eliminating other gases like nitrogen, methane, carbon dioxide, and more. Some units require an electric source through AC power, while some work well with a rechargeable battery. However, if you spend most of your days out, it would be best to opt for a device with good battery life.
What Makes It Different From The On-Demand/Pulse Flow Oxygen Concentrators?
If you are looking for an oxygen concentrator to purchase, you may come across units that say either On-Demand/Pulse or Continuous. Both of them are efficient and will help you with your breathing-related problems. However, it all falls on the severity of your case, your lifestyle, and your preference for which one will work best for you.
Continuous flow concentrators provide constant amounts of oxygen regardless of the changes in your breathing pattern. You will have to set the prescribed liter per minute of oxygen from your medical provider.
Continuous flow is also great at providing you with oxygen at night. Due to it releasing constant oxygen levels, you would not have a problem keeping it while you sleep. It can also help with sleep apnea, a sleeping condition where a person's breathing suddenly stops and starts. Continuous flow may keep the oxygen blood level from falling and prevent the life-threatening effects of this disorder.
In addition to that, continuous flow portable concentrators are mostly used by patients with severe chronic respiratory problems.
On the other hand, on-demand concentrators detect your breathing patterns and release amounts of oxygen based on that. The unused oxygen is stored on the device, unlike in the continuous flow where the unused oxygen is released back to the surrounding ambient air.
However, the disadvantage to this type of concentrator is its inability to detect shallow breathing, especially at night. This may result in setting off the alarm multiple times at night, leaving you tired and sleepless. Still, some units have a sleep mode option that helps the machine detect shallow breaths while you are in a deep sleep.
Pulse flow units are better recommended for people with high activity levels, as they can keep up with harder breathing. There also tend to be the units that are wearable and easy to bring while you are participating in different tasks.
Asking your doctor will be the best option if you are unsure which of the two will work best for you. After all, you generally wouldn't be able to purchase a unit unless you have a prescription. Before allowing you to use a portable oxygen concentrator, they will run a few tests first, including oxygen testing to see how much oxygen your condition requires.
What To Look For In A Good Portable Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrator?
Before buying a continuous flow oxygen concentrator, be sure that it checks the following characteristics to ensure that you are settling for less. Don't hesitate to refer to the listed factors:
If you intend to bring this device wherever you go, it would be best to choose a wearable unit or one that is not that heavy. Bigger and bulkier machines are difficult to deal with during transportation. You would want something that will not compromise your comfort, and it is a bonus if it is FAA-approved.
Most portable continuous flow concentrators weigh around 20 lbs. the more powerful the device is, the heavier it can get. However, you can also find some with a rolling feature or strap system for easy handling.
Another disadvantage among continuous flow units of concentrators is that they tend to be noisy. Of course, all devices may emit noise when they are running, but you can choose some that are not as loud as the others.
Some brands design their units especially to be not as noisy, so check them out if you can.
Read more: Most quiet portable oxygen concentrators
3. Flow rate
It is best to refer to your doctor's prescription when considering this factor. It usually includes how much LPM of oxygen you need in certain amounts of time.
Some brands offer up to 10 liters per minute of oxygen, while some can only provide 3 to 5 liters per minute. It would be better to choose the ones with higher capacity flow rates. If this is not possible, selecting the one that can provide you with the necessary oxygen levels is also good.
You may also want to consider if continuous or pulse flow is best for your condition. Your doctor can also tell you about it, or you can read about their differences and usage written above.
4. Battery life
A portable oxygen concentrator with continuous flow may run for around 4 to 5 hours of constant use while on battery mode. Smaller units will take less time to charge up to full capacity, but you will find it easier to have extra batteries with you, especially when you are out and charging is not an option.
5. Oxygen delivery
The oxygen delivery of a concentrator is the most important factor you must consider. High-quality concentrators can provide 90 to 95% of pure oxygen. If a device cannot process at least 90% of purified oxygen, then it may not help you with your oxygen therapy in the long run.
Certain diagnosis has specific oxygen level requirements, so be sure to coordinate with your medical provider throughout the process. You need to prioritize maintaining your oxygen saturation levels stable, particularly if you suffer from a moderate to severe breathing problem.
FAQs About Continuous Flow Portable Oxygen Concentrators
Which portable oxygen concentrator has the highest continuous flow?
The portable oxygen concentrators with the highest continuous flow unit in the market today are Oxlife Independence, Phillips Respironics SimplyGo, and Inogen. However, the most powerful among the rest is the SeQual Eclipse 5 from CAIRE. These devices' pulse dose settings can go up to 9 LMP while the continuous flow is up to 3 LPM.
How many liters does a portable oxygen concentrator go up to?
Generally, a portable oxygen concentrator can only provide a liter flow of 1 to 6 LPM. This is due to their size, thus affecting oxygen delivery and purification. Still, it mainly depends on the capacity of a brand, as some units may offer a flow rate higher than this.
Which is better: pulse or continuous flow oxygen?
Both pulse and continuous flow oxygen concentrators have their advantages to the user. Pulse flow units are great for individuals who do not require as much oxygen and tend to stay outside more, while continuous flow units are great for people who stay at home most of the time.
If you want to know which one is best for your case, consult your doctor.
What is the highest LPM for oxygen concentrators?
Oxygen concentrators can deliver up to 15 liters per minute, but only the stationary units. On the other hand, portable concentrators can only deliver no more than 10 LPM of continuous flow oxygen. Some can only provide up to 5 LPM, which is not always enough for everybody, especially for people who require more oxygen.
How long can you use a portable oxygen concentrator?
Most portable oxygen concentrators with continuous flow can last for 4 to 7 years if the unit is maintained well and immediately treated when a part is damaged. However, the lifespan of a device may vary due to several factors, like frequency of use, carefulness of the user, and other environmental agents.
Are Portable Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators Good?
Portable continuous flow concentrators are great machines. They allow you to go back to your normal life despite your current breathing issues. With these devices, it is not impossible to participate in the things you enjoy, be it physical activity, traveling, or simply hanging out with your loved ones.