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Buyer’s Guide to Oxygen Therapy Products

The use of Oxygen Therapy is common in both the hospital and home setting. Like any other therapy agent, oxygen also has specific directions to use, prescribed dosage, methods of administration and potential side effects. If administered properly, oxygen can be extremely beneficial to the patient but incorrect use may result in a variety of complications. The major indication for prescribing oxygen therapy is hypoxaemia.

Oxygen Therapy is usually defined as the administration of oxygen at concentrations greater than those found in ambient air. Irrespective of the indication and setting of oxygen therapy, one always needs an oxygen source and a delivery system. For any patient, it is necessary to closely monitor the flow of oxygen and to keep it within their personal target saturation range.

In hospital setting, oxygen is mostly supplied through pipelines between the wall oxygen outlet and large oxygen reservoirs in the hospital. Oxygen flow meters are connected to the oxygen wall outlets and mostly have a floating ball to indicate the flow-rate. In order to connect flow meters and regulators to the patient delivery device, oxygen tubing is needed.

In home setting, the oxygen concentrator is the most economical and the most frequently used oxygen source. Most modern oxygen concentrators are equipped with an oxygen concentration alarm which goes off if the oxygen concentration level falls below the prescribed limit. Recently, portable concentrators, which are able to refill small cylinders, have become available.

Oxygen Therapy Equipment mostly consists of:

  • Oxygen Concentrators
  • Oxygen HomeFill Systems
  • Oxygen Pulse Oximeters
  • Oxygen Therapy Accessories

Oxygen Concentrators:

An Oxygen Concentrator is an electrical device which absorbs nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the air and provides oxygen therapy to a patient at substantially higher concentrations than available in ambient air. Oxygen Concentrators are used because they are safer, less expensive and more convenient alternative to compressed oxygen tanks. Oxygen Concentrators are available in stationary and portable models.

Stationary concentrators are perfect for patients who don’t travel often and subsequently remain indoors. Stationary concentrators are also suitable if the generated oxygen is to be shared between multiple users in the household.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators are similar to Stationary Oxygen Concentrators but are smaller and mobile (portable). This makes portable oxygen concentrators perfect for patients who want to travel freely by car, train or airplane. Due to the lightweight construction, portable oxygen concentrators are also called Mobile Oxygen Concentrators or Travel Oxygen Concentrators.

Following points should be kept in mind before deciding which Oxygen Concentrator to buy:

  • Battery life: With more robust design comes more weight, but also a larger O2 capacity. If the oxygen requirement is low, choose a small portable concentrator that can be plugged into the wall AC outlet, vehicle DC supply. However, if oxygen requirement is high, choose a conventional stationary concentrator to cope with the large oxygen needs.
  • Capacity: Which concentrator is best suited for you, depends on the liter flow or your needs for the oxygen. Portable concentrators are usually available in a capacity range of less than 1 liter per minute up to 3 liters per minute. If the patient’s need exceeds 3 liters per minute, a stationary concentrator is the best option. Size can make a difference in mobility, so select a model that allows you to spend longer periods of time between refills.
  • Settings: More better, but it also depends on your needs.
  • Pulse vs. Continuous Flow: Oxygen flow and how it is delivered is the most important feature when buying an oxygen concentrator. Pulse flow means that the oxygen is delivered to you in puffs vs. continuous or stream flow. You can also buy a device that has both pulse and continuous modes.
  • Mobility: Check whether you need to carry your concentrator outdoors. Find out if your O2 concentrator is FAA approved or not. Check the altitude level spec also as the higher altitudes may affect your machine performance.
  • Size: Lightweight and compact size is what gives the Portable Oxygen Concentrators portability. If the unit is heavy, buying a system with the additional accessories such as the cart and the bag that can hold extra batteries and chargers will make a big difference.
  • Support: An average warranty coverage found on portable oxygen concentrators is between 3 and 5 years.
  • Renting vs. buying: Oxygen Concentrators are expensive; depending on the features, options and accessories. The cost can go to over five thousand dollars. This is why renting an oxygen concentrator might be a solution for you. For budget oriented individuals, refurbished or used oxygen concentrators are also available.

HomeFill Oxygen Systems:

The HomeFill Oxygen Compressor Systems have revolutionized ambulatory oxygen by allowing patients to fill their own high pressure cylinders in the convenience of their own home. With HomeFill Oxygen Systems, patients can get unlimited portable oxygen directly at home thus reducing costs by virtually eliminating cylinder deliveries from the providers. Oxygen HomeFill Systems are mostly sold in packages that include the correct oxygen cylinders. The Home-fill systems specify which tanks are compatible for refill and some home-fill units are pre-packaged with such portable tanks. Each manufacturer requires its own brand tank with correct valve and coupler assembly.

Pulse Oximeters:

Pulse Oximetry aims to measure the oxygen saturation of arterial blood. The Pulse Oximetry Technique has become accepted as a standard of care in many areas since its development in 1971. Pulse Oximeters represent one of the greatest advances in patient monitoring in many years.

Pulse Oximeters can continuously monitor the saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen, easily and non-invasively, providing a measure of cardio-respiratory function. By virtue of the ability to quickly detect hypoxaemia, Pulse Oximetry has become the standard of care during anesthesia as well as in the recovery room and intensive care unit.

Oxygen Therapy Accessories:

Oxygen Therapy Accessories include all the miscellaneous add-ons which the user can add to their Oxygen Therapy Equipment like Oxygen Concentrators, Oxygen Compressors, HomeFill Systems etc. to make the experience much more secure and comfortable for both the patient and the caregiver. Oxygen Therapy Accessories include Battery Packs for Portable Oxygen Concentrator, Oxygen Analyzer for Stationary Oxygen Concentrators, AC/DC Power Adapters, Oxygen Flowmeters, Concentrator Carts, Humidifier Kits etc.

If you’re still not satisfied with the suggestions you have gathered, you can call our experts at (845) 569-1250 or visit us at http://www.homehealthpavilion.com, or just visit one of our local retail showrooms to inquire about all types of Oxygen Therapy Equipment.