Oxygen concentrators are a medical device that helps people with chronic diseases to get oxygen from a cylinder or bottle. They collect the ambient air in a room and concentrate it into a high-purity form to be delivered to patients via a nasal cannula or oxygen mask. Unlike the oxygen tanks used by hospitals, oxygen concentrators don’t require refilling or replacement.
Getting an oxygen prescription from your doctor is important to use an oxygen concentrator correctly. It’s also vital to read and follow the instructions in your patient instruction manual. If you don’t, you could end up with a machine that won’t work properly.
Your doctor may prescribe a set oxygen flow rate for you to use with your concentrator, so make sure to follow that prescription closely when setting the unit up. Locate the liter control knob or switch that is marked with liters per minute (LPM) numbers such as 1, 2, 3, and so on, and adjust it to the LPM prescribed by your doctor.
You’ll also need to make sure you have a good amount of oxygen tubing to connect the cannula and mask to. If the tube is kinked or bent, the concentrator may not be able to get the oxygen you need.
To avoid this, you should keep your tubing and cannula in a convenient place that’s easily accessible to you. You should also check them often to make sure they’re clean and that any kinks are straightened out.
Before using an oxygen concentrator, make sure the unit is connected to a proper ground & polarized outlet. This ensures the safety of both you and the equipment. It’s also a good idea to have an electrician inspect your outlet before you plug it in.
If your home loses electricity, don’t try to use your oxygen concentrator until it is back on again. Instead, prepare an emergency plan that includes a portable oxygen tank until the power is restored.
Always keep your tubing and cannulas stocked near the oxygen concentrator so that they’re ready to use when you need them. It’s not uncommon for them to be damaged by accidental contact with items such as vacuum cleaners, so having extra on hand can save you from a trip to the store or pharmacy.
Don’t use the same oxygen tubing for more than one cannula at a time. This can cause the tubing to become clogged, or it could lead to leaks, which can be harmful to your health.
Lastly, make sure your filters are clean. This prevents dirt from entering the machine, which can cause a build-up of bacteria and germs. To clean the filters, remove them and wash with warm water. Then dry them with a paper towel and reattach them to your oxygen concentrator.
You can purchase a voltage stabilizer to help protect your stationary oxygen concentrator from power fluctuations, which can shorten the life of the compressor. Some concentrators come with this feature as standard, but if your unit doesn’t, you can purchase it separately.