Oxygen Concentrator Basics

When you are first prescribed oxygen and when you are choosing your home oxygen concentrator or portable concentrator, it can feel somewhat intimidating. You do not want to do anything wrong that could damage the machine, and you want to make sure that you understand not only how to use it properly, but also how to maintain the machine.

Many people today have these concentrators. They can help those who are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung disease, and other health issues. They might have stationary oxygen concentrators that stay at home or they could have portable oxygen concentrators. While each of the makes and models may have somewhat different features, you will find that the basics of using the concentrator tends to be the same. It also happens to be relatively easy, and you can learn quickly.

Getting Started

If you have a battery operated oxygen concentrator, make sure that the battery is charged and that it is properly installed. Those who have stationary oxygen concentrators that have a cord will want to plug the cord into the electrical outlet.

If there is a humidifier, you can connect it. For those who have large, stationary devices, it tends to be a good idea to keep them located at least a foot or two away from the wall. This will ensure that the exhaust and the intake have plenty of room.

Make sure the particle filters are in place and that your nasal cannula and mask are properly connected. Turn on the machine and check to make sure that the oxygen flow rate is providing you with the proper liters per minute. Apply the nasal cannula or mask and the machine should be ready to go.

As you can see, they tend to be relatively simple to use, so once you have started it up a few times, you should not have any issues. Be sure you know how to charge the portable devices and that you understand how their batteries work and how long they last. This will ensure that you know when you need to change a battery.

Take the time to learn the basic functionality of the machine, and you will understand the ins and outs before you know it.

Follow the Manufacturer Guidelines

As mentioned, each of the medical oxygen concentrators could be somewhat different. Some will have LCD screens, while some of the smaller, portable devices will not. Therefore, you should always make sure you have the owner’s manual handy, especially when you are first starting to use a machine. Even if you have used similar machines in the past, if you have a new machine, be sure to go through the manual first. This will help you familiarize yourself with how it works and where the controls are located. The manufacturer will likely be able to answer any questions you have about the machine, as well.

Keep the Machine in Proper Working Order

Whether you are using a continuous flow oxygen concentrator that stays at home or a portable oxygen concentrator that you can take with you, make sure it is kept in good working order. Your health will depend on it. The following are some simple tips that can help to ensure that your machine keeps running properly.

First, consider resting the machine occasionally. Even though they are able to run for 24hrs a day, they could overheat and suddenly stop. By allowing the machine to rest for about 20 minutes every eight hours or so, you can reduce the risk of this occurring. When the machine is offer, patients will want to use a standby device or oxygen tank to ensure that they still have the oxygen they need.

In addition, if you have a machine with external filters, you will want to make sure that the filters are cleaned regularly. Try to clean them at least once per week. However, if the house is dusty or has pets, this might be needed more often. Make sure that the oxygen tubes are in good shape and that they do not have any kinks in them, clean the outside of the machine and make sure that you do not let any liquid get into the device.

With proper care and usage, these machines have the capacity to last for a long time. Make sure that you are treating them with the respect they deserve, and they can provide you with years of use.